If this is your first time out running EVER or at least for a long time, be prepared to walk as well. Do not be ashamed, we all have to start somewhere. Go slow if you need to. Right now, this is not a race. If you are out of breath or sore, take it easy! If you are worried about people seeing you, trust me, they do not care that they saw you jiggling along or red faced. People in cars see you for about 10seconds before they are past you and people walking past you or overtaking you, they are all on the same journey!
This is a post of the first time I ever tried to jog home from work. Camden to Shoreditch is around 3.7miles and I was nervous (to say the least). Dated March 7th 2011
Walk briskly for 5mins or so until you feel like you are warm. Then try jogging at a comfortable pace for a while. Whether that may be from one landmark to another or for the length of song on your iPod - set yourself a goal and try your best to stick with it. Remember to allow yourself walking recovery time.
Click here to see how I felt the next day and how I took my own advice of jogging, then walking, then jogging. Dated March 8th 2011
Keep a log of your progress. I highly recommend buying a notebook or using a piece of paper to write down exactly what you did on your first venture so then you can compare and try to improve on it the next time you head out.
I set myself a goal of jogging the whole way up the hill from Kings Cross to Angel and when I finally completed this goal - nothing could wipe the smile off my face! Dated March 21st 2011
Once you have run a few times, you will quickly realise that you need to invest in a new pair of shoes. Go to a specialist store and get tested / fitted for a pair that suits your running style and gait. I went to Runners Need in London and the difference I felt in my running afterwards was amazing. I was on my way to getting shin splints and luckily enough, I bought some new shoes just in time. Please, if you think you can't afford it - running is free. It is worth it. Beg and borrow to get some new shoes.
Here are the new shoes I bought on 28th April 2011 and this is how I felt about them after their maiden voyage. Dated 30th April 2011.
Set yourself a challenge or goal. I entered a 10K Race for Life and that is how I got motivated to get my ass moving. Not only was I raising money for a great cause but I was getting fit and healthy at the same time. Winning! Once you have a goal, find a running program or guide that suits you. There are loads of free plans and apps out there - so get to it and have fun.
You can see the post from my Race for Life here. Dated 31st May 2011
Stick with it. There is really only one way to get better!
Stop making excuses. Its too cold. It's too rainy. I don't have time. Honestly, wear a hoodie, tie your hair back and GET OUT THERE! If you think you don't have time, how long did you want to jog for? 60mins? Trust me, if this is your first time out, you will probably feel like you are done after 10mins :)
I man up and run in the rain - even in my glasses! Dated 18th May 2011
If you are someone who likes to work out with a partner, or if you feel like you need that added motivation to help you - find someone who lives near you that you can jog with. Running with a partner can be amazing, but don't forget, their motivation might lag as well which will cause you to not feel like you want to run. You still need to be strong enough to run alone. Remember, the hardest step a runner will take is out the front door.
I had the luxury of running with my sister while she was in London a little while ago. It was a nice change from pounding the pavement on my own :)
Try and drink more water in the day. Of course, only drink when you are thirsty. But you need to stay rehydrated especially since you are now a runner.
Make sure you stretch long and hard after your runs. You will be a bit sore in the legs while you are getting started, but there is no point possibly walking around in pain the days after. That is not going to make you want to go out again. Trust me. Stretch as much as you can - whenever you can.
I used to stretch even at work, when possible. Lunge here. Quads while waiting for coffee. Who cares if someone asks why you are stretching. Um, I am a runner and I need to!
Don't worry about gadgets and apps and running websites just yet. Use a watch or your iPod song lengths to measure the amount of time you spend running and that is all you need for now. Then, once you make it a regular occurrence - by all means sign up to Daily Mile, Nike +, Map My Run, Runners World etc. You will love it and quite possibly join a community that will inspire you to run more.
I use Nike + to log my miles and I write about my running here.
Now, what are you waiting for? Are you in?