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Running 101: A Comprehensive Guide for Newbie Runners


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By Niamh Walsh on 14th February 2024

Everything you need to get started with London's most popular sport - running!

In the crisp embrace of January, as resolutions echo in the air, many of us find ourselves lacing up our running shoes, ready to hit the pavement. Whether you're a resolution runner, an aspiring marathoner, or just looking to shake off the holiday excess, we've got your back. Welcome to Running 101, where we blend the science of striding with the joy of jogging to make your journey from couch to 5K a breeze.

Step 1: Gear Up for Glory

Before you sprint into the great unknown, let's talk gear. Invest in a good pair of running shoes that suit your foot shape and running style. According to the American Council on Exercise, improper footwear can lead to discomfort and potential injuries. Let your shoes be your running companions, not your adversaries. We recommend the Hoka Rincon 3’s or the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40

Hoka Rincon 3's
Hoka Rincon 3's

Step 2: Start Slow, Finish Strong

If the only time you ran recently was to catch the ice cream truck, take it easy. Introducing the Couch to 5K program – the Sherpa of your running journey. It's a structured plan designed to gradually increase your running time over several weeks. Think of it as a Netflix series binge, but with fewer couch cushions and more endorphins.

Step 3: Mix It Up

Variety is the spice of running life. Don't stick to the same route every day; explore your surroundings. According to a study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, changing your running environment can enhance your motivation and overall well-being. One excellent app that provides a plethora of running routes to add that much-needed spice to your running life is MapMyRun. Developed by Under Armour, this app is a treasure trove for runners of all levels.

Step 4: Embrace the Tech

Who said running can't be a high-tech adventure? Fitness trackers and running apps are your new running buddies. They'll track your progress, provide real-time feedback, and even cheer you on when you need it most. Embrace the digital age; your personal bests are just a tap away. Here are some cutting-edge examples to elevate your running experience:

  • Fitbit Charge 5: This fitness tracker goes beyond counting steps. With built-in GPS, heart rate monitoring, and advanced sleep tracking, it's your all-in-one running companion.

  • Strava: A runner's social network, Strava not only tracks your runs but also connects you with a global community. Challenge friends, discover new routes, and bask in the collective running spirit.


Step 5: Fuel Your Run, Don't Run on Empty

Running is like a car – it needs fuel. Make sure to eat a balanced meal or snack before your run to avoid hitting the dreaded wall. A combination of complex carbohydrates and protein 1-2 hours before your run can provide the energy you need. Your body is a temple; feed it like one.

healthy balanced meal

Step 6: Rest Like a Pro

Rest days are not for the weak; they're for the wise. Your body needs time to recover and adapt to the newfound glory of running. Overtraining can lead to burnout and injuries. Listen to your body, and don't be afraid to swap a run day for a yoga session or a well-deserved nap. Your body will thank you for the TLC.

Step 7: Join the Running Community

Running solo has its charm, but joining a running group or an online community can turbocharge your motivation. The camaraderie, shared experiences, and friendly competition will turn your running routine into a social event. You're not just running; you're joining a pack of fellow pavement pounders. Here are some vibrant running clubs and online communities that can transform your solo journey into a lively group adventure:

  • Puresport Run Club: Known for its inclusive spirit and diverse membership, Puresport is more than a group; it's a family of runners. With weekly group runs, training sessions, and social events, they make pounding the pavement a community celebration.

  • Nike Run Club: Whether you're a seasoned marathoner or a newbie lacing up for the first time, NRC provides a global platform to connect with like-minded runners. Join local NRC events or participate in virtual challenges for an extra boost of motivation.

  • November Project: Embrace the power of free fitness with November Project, a grassroots movement that has spread to cities worldwide. Their mantra of #JustShowUp encourages all fitness levels to come together for early morning workouts and build a supportive community.

  • Parkrun: With events in numerous countries, Parkrun organises free, weekly, timed 5K runs in local parks. It's a fantastic way to not only connect with your community but also enjoy the thrill of a timed run in a supportive environment.


Step 8: Mind the Niggles

Running might feel like a superpower, but even superheroes have their kryptonite. Listen to your body and address those niggling aches and pains before they become full-blown injuries. A visit to a sports physio or a knowledgeable friend can be a game-changer. Be a detective of your own body, and keep those niggles at bay. Here are some must-haves to address those pesky aches and pains:

  • Foam Roller: Roll away tension post-run for improved flexibility.

  • Massage Balls: Target muscle knots for deep relief.

  • KT Tape: Support muscles and joints without restricting movement.

  • Cold Therapy Packs: Ice sore spots for inflammation reduction.

  • Epsom Salt: Relax muscles with a soothing post-run bath.

Step 9: Celebrate Every Milestone

Every mile, every kilometre, every step – celebrate them all. Running is a journey, not a destination. Whether it's your first 5K or a new personal record, revel in the small victories. You're not just running; you're conquering new horizons. Your victory lap is waiting; take it with pride.

Step 10: Keep It Fun

Running is not a punishment; it's a celebration of what your body can do. Blast your favourite tunes, discover new podcasts, or run with a friend. Make it an adventure, and soon you'll find that the road beneath your feet is more than a path – it's a journey towards a healthier, happier you. So, lace up, Newbie Runner. Your journey awaits, and the road is yours to conquer. Happy running!

So, lace up, Newbie Runner. Your journey awaits, and the road is yours to conquer. Happy running!

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