Updated: Jan 15
In the first instalment of our Hello 2021 Refresh series, we're chatting to local Shrewsbury runner Tom in the vain hope that 2021 will finally be the year we start to love running. Tom was all set for a sub 2h 50m marathon time before COVID scuppered his race plans, so he knows a bit more about running than we do! Here are his top tips for getting started.
The current climate means that now, especially, is a perfect time to take up running. Going outdoors and getting some fresh air is so good for your muscles and lungs, and a great way in which to vent all of life’s frustrations.
Start Small You don’t need to aim for personal best every time you run. Too many people go out and go hell for leather on every run, this is counterproductive and injuries or fatigue are just waiting for you around a very short corner. There are some great apps for beginners out there (Couch to 5k) that can help you gradually build up your running without obliterating your achilles or smashing your shins in to a thousand pieces. Slow and steady really does win the race - and you'll be amazed at how quickly you improve.
Gear Up - Cotton is the ENEMY You don’t have to go into massive credit card debt to start running (although some running stores would recommend that), however wearing some decent running gear will make everything just a little more comfortable. A good place to start is with a comfortable pair of trainers designed for running. It’s easy to go in to a running store and get sold some trainers for £4,000 with a gimmick that does absolutely nothing. Just get a pair that feel comfortable and that you like and you’re far more likely to keep heading out of the door and onto your running route.
Meet a Mate In my experience, I am far more likely to get out of the door if I am being held accountable by someone waiting for me in the cold. Try and find someone of a similar level with similar goals, and someone who will keep you motivated even when Netflix sounds like a much better idea. Why not get the rest of your household or support bubble on board? Dogs also make great running buddies too!
Join a Club Maybe one for a more COVID-free time... There are some fantastic running clubs in Shrewsbury and surrounding areas that can cater for any running level, from plodders to elite athletes. Joining a local club is a great way to get some coaching and meet like-minded people.
R.E.S.T. Resting up is just as important as going out running in the first place. Your muscles need time to repair and strengthen. If you don’t allow time for this you’ve bought yourself a one way ticket to injuryville and nobody wants to be there. Not resting will slow your progress down in the long run - remember, it's a marathon not a sprint.
At the end of the day, running is meant to be fun - good luck, enjoy it and keep going!
Is running on your list for 2021? Do you have any tips for getting going with running?