It is that time of year when people start to think ahead to their “beach body” there are still enough months left before the proper warm weather for you to start getting in shape. One of the best ways to do that is to start jogging regularly but that can be a scary prospect. Here is our beginner’s guide to pounding the streets.
Sometimes it’s best not to overthink it. Just get your backside off the sofa and have a quick jog around the block. Do that 2-3 times a week and you’ll soon get the jogging bug. The first few times you head out you might not manage much, but then just add an extra road to your circuit. Warning it can get addictive quickly.
There’s an app for that
There are loads of jogging apps available to you. Personally I like to use Strava. Its social media-like functionality is great and it’s popular enough that there are probably people on your friends list you can follow. If you run regular routes it can track different splits and give your personal best trophies. It’s just a little touch but it gives you a sense of accomplishment and a reward for all your hard work.
Join the club
Most towns will have some kind of running club. From experience these tend to be chock full with lovely positive people. Perhaps it is all of the happy hormones released when you exercise! You may be intimidated that they will be too fast for you. More often than not you will find that there will be mixed abilities and that you will find someone to keep you company. You may also be surprised at how much more you can do when you have a bit of company. The distraction means you focus less on any pain you might be feeling!
Speaking of pain. If you are an older lad/lady you will feel it to begin with. Warm ups and warm downs are important. And if you’re not used to running it can cause injuries. I played football all of my adult life without a single notable injury and after a couple of months running I pulled my hamstring. The constant impact on hard surfaces will take its toll especially as you get faster and attempt longer distances. Be prepared.
All the gear no idea
When you first start you won’t need much beyond a pair of trainers. But as you get more serious there are few things you can invest in. Most of these are fairly cheap. A water bottle will cost you a couple of quid. A pouch for holding your keys and your phone can be purchased online and are well worth the investment.
The potential big expense is shoes. Correct footwear can really make a difference. Generic running shoes will be fine to begin with but when you are doing 20k a week you will want a pair that supports your running style. Specialist shops will give you five minutes on a tread mill and help select shoes that will protect your body.
Strava will help you in this respect. It is a buzz trying to beat your personal best. However why not up your game and compete against a friend? Competition can bring out the best in us.
You can lose a lot of fluids when running. It is important to replenish these. If you are going on any substantial jog we recommend taking a water bottle and taking sips as you go.
Music makes the world go round
If you are flying solo take your phone and make a jogging playlist! You have no idea how many times I wanted to give up mid-run and then a “banger” comes on and before I know it I have added an extra kilometre to my run.