When I try something new, I throw myself into it wholeheartedly.
Buy all of the things.
Learn all of the things.
Do all of the things.
Some *may* say I have embraced a lot of fads, but I'm nothing if not enthusiastic!
I've stuck at running though, so I feel I am in a position to offer some excellent advice in case you, too, are just starting out.
Here are my unqualified, unscientific and wholly unorthodox training tips in case you are curious. Of course, it would probably serve you better to research the c25k approach, join a running club, or speak to somebody who actually knows what they are talking about, but here is Running 101, according to Carly Sharples...
In the first instance, buy everything. EVERYTHING.
Then figure out what it is all for and assuage that buyer's guilt by actually using it.
I know I said in this post that all you need to do is lace up your trainers and go, but you absolutely need the right trainers. Bonus points if they are pretty too.
You'll need a good sports bra.
Socks that don't slip inside your trainers.
Coordinating leggings that suck your mum tum in, therefore making you feel fitter than you actually are and thus more inclined to carry on with this new hobby.
Have you heard of the maxim 'dress for the job you want, not the one you have"? Yeah? Well apply that to running. Wear alllllllll the gear and look the part. Show others that you mean business and know what you're doing because soon you'll realise that actually, you do know what you're doing!! It just serves to bypass the whole awkward newbie thing.
And if you need help availing yourself of any kind of running paraphernalia then go see Keith at The Lincolnshire Runner; he will soon empty your bank account for you.
This is a perfectly acceptable running technique and it is all you need to get you going and building those miles. It even has a proper term: fartlek (*snigger*) or google the Jeff Galloway method.
Figure out what suits you best. I started out with run 30s - walk 60s - run 30s etc for a mile or two and built from there. I became so adept at this that when I realised I could actually run a mile nonstop it was far slower than my 'jeffing' mile!
Of course, when/as you improve you will build intervals into your routine with things like x seconds max effort, x min recovery. You are just getting ahead because when starting out, those 30 seconds of run are totally max effort, irrespective of speed.
So go on and pat your head for being so clever and getting ahead of the game.
SET YOURSELF A GOAL AND GO OUT THERE AND SMASH IT.
Don't stop until you've achieved it. It may be as simple as running to the end of your street. Or competing a parkrun. Or you may fancy some bling and opt for a race in the near future, like I did.
Choose something to keep you motivated and hold you to account and just get out there and do it.
DON'T WORRY ABOUT HOW SLOW YOU'RE GOING.
There will always be someone faster than you, no matter how good you become. Speed and endurance are two very different things and you'll notice that your improvements in both don't move forward at an even pace. That's okay. Focus on getting the job done (endurance) and speed will follow.
My fastest ever mile is 4 mins 30 secs faster than that very first mile I ever ran nonstop.
EAT CAKE GUILT FREE.
Well, not every day, but there is something extremely virtuous and satisfying about knowing you've worked hard for a treat.
And if you sign up for a half or full marathon then you can eat cake before the event as well as carb-loading is essential race preparation.*
(*subject to interpretation. My interpretation.)
CHARGE YOUR PHONE.
Make sure you have adequate phone battery before you go out.
Download strava and track your runs. Invite everyone you know to follow you. Because if your run isn't on strava, does it even count?!
But seriously, you can visibly see your progress and improvements which in turn encourages you to keep going.
START TO BUILD IN SOME OTHER EXERCISE.
Core stability especially. Fit, strong and uninjured is the aim of the game!
Other benefits include being able to classify yourself as a gym w*nker then instead of just a running w*nker.
BUMBAGS ARE LIFE.
It will be one of the only times in your life that it is socially acceptable to wear a bumbag (unless you're 19 years old or a Berlin prostitute).
Pack some emergency bog roll (in case nature calls!).
Fill it up with jelly babies if you're going more than an hour or so and lap up the glory that comes with not giving a sh*t that you are wearing a bumbag.
I recommend this one as what is even better than a bumbag?
A bumbag that doubles as an ammo pack, that's what.
READ ALL ABOUT IT.
Learn all the key terms: pace, splits, negative splits, tapering etc.
Google common running injuries so you can self-diagnose if necessary.
Then google potential remedies for plantar fasciitis, tight IT bands or whatever and make a mental note of who to see and what to buy if you are ever afflicted.
Make sure you ignore everything and everyone that advises rest. Pfffftt. You don't need that negativity in your life.
Learn which muscles are used in running so you can delight everybody around you with gems like "oh, my hamstrings feel tight today" or "my calves are burning after that ten miler yesterday'.
Talk the talk and fake it until you make it!