Yes, that’s right: RUNNING.
noun [mass noun]
– the action or movement of a runner: his running tore United to shreds
– the sport of racing on foot: marathon running
I’m not a big one for resolutions. Hell, I haven’t even made any this year. But a strange thing happened on January 1st, something that I’m not sure has happened to me before; I woke up, around 8am, having only had only around 3-4hrs sleep (after much fun and shenanigans on NYE, of course) and I wanted to go on a run.
I hadn’t decided to
“I’m going for a run” I said.
And the following day I did it again, and the day after that I ran again, and then on the 4th? Well, then I took a break. It seems not running for years and then taking it up again suddenly and rather aggressively isn’t the way to do these things. There was limping, and a fair bit of pain, and all my running friends (turns out I have a few) came out of the woodwork to advise on all sorts.
So here we go: the complete 100% newbie and unscientific list of things to do if you’re going to start running:
1. Actually go for a run
Yeah, it seems an obvious one but getting out there and doing it is the easiest way forward. Get that out of the way and you’re halfway there. No, scratch that, you’re all of the way there. You have done some running. Well done.
2. Warm up (and then down again)
I didn’t do this at first and I suffered for it. I recommend you don’t make that mistake.
Some stretching before you head out is definitely a good idea (thanks to the comments, only stretch AFTER your workout – see I am a newbie! However you should definitely) Consider ‘briskly’ walking for the first five minutes of the route you’re about to embark upon. Stupid really, you’d think people would know to do this. Even when I went for my first run I remember thinking ‘Yup, we definitely used to warm before any sports in PE at school… but I’m an adult now! I don’t need to deal with such tomfoolery!’ – I am a numpty, clearly. But that means you could be too. SO WARM UP, (then do some stretching when you’re done too).
And that’s it really. Straight up – that. is. it.
Warm up. Run. Warm down. Done.
Well, there’s a few more, but these next few are 100% optional.
3. Pick an app
There are a whole ton of sports-tracking apps available for your selection, each of them measuring all kinds of things from the route you take, through to your avg. speed; some can plug into other services and some you can integrate into your entire LIFE.
Endomondo, Run Keeper, Nike+, there’s loads. Me? I’ve gone for Sports Tracker. Why? It’s across the most platforms and, given that I swap phones every month, it’s the best one there is. Your choice might be different. Do some research.
4. Get the right kit
When I say ‘kit’, I mean – these are the things that I don’t run without –
First up, my hoodie. It’s bloody cold out there at the moment (and it won’t be getting warmer anytime soon) and I’ve got one of those Superdry hoodies which is pretty damn cosy, and good for running in. It’s not rained yet, so I don’t if it does actually keep me Superdry, but only time will tell (christ, rain. I hadn’t thought about that). Either way, it does the job. Winner.
Second, my mobile.
Currently Up until yesterday* this is was a Nokia Lumia 920** and [while it’s not the most robust handset in the world] it has done a good job of not only tracking my runs to date, but also providing the tunes to said workouts too.
Finally, some decent shoes!
I got the above bad boy Asics from Runners Need on Great Portland Street. They cost me £70 and I got a free gait-analysis thrown in too. I’d never heard of that analysis part before but those running friends I told you about earlier? They all swear by it. Get tested, then get the trainers you need to mate.
Again, this isn’t gospel; you can run in plimsols if you so wish! However, I’m committing to this (hence the bloggage too I guess) and want the kit to see me through. And hey, if you find yourself on the streets of Maida Vale one morning (say around 7ish), look out for this knackered-looking guy –
– he may even fancy a race!
Like, in a month or three.
**I know I moaned about it on The Voicemail, but since then it’s really grown on my and I’m actually sad to see it go.