Thursday, 30 October 2014

Tips for taking up jogging

About a year ago I decided that it was time to lose weight, get fit and feel better in terms of my health and appearance. I started playing with the idea of jogging around the same time, but only just this summer did I pluck up the courage to buy my first running trainers and set off. So trust me, I know how daunting it can seem, worrying everyone will laugh at you or that you will be absolutely rubbish. But now, 5 months on from when I first started jogging, I am in a comfortable routine of going at least three times a week and running around 5k in 30 minutes. I'm still no expert, but I thought I would put together a beginner's guide to jogging, just in case any of you were in the same boat that I was.

NHS Couch to 5k app
I don't think I would have started jogging, or kept it up, without this amazing app and I know I have raved about it on here before. It is free and is basically a 9 week programme which gives you advice while you run and counts down and structures in how much running and walking you should do. As the weeks progress, obviously the amount of time you are walking decreases. The first week is literally something like 30 seconds running, 30 seconds walking, and alternating for half an hour. It is the perfect way, in my opinion, to build up your stamina over 9 weeks, and because each week gradually ups the game, they are easily achievable goals. The app asks you to do each week's run three times within that week, leaving at least a day between each run to prevent injury. I also loved ticking off each run, feeling that I had really accomplished something.

Music playlist
Some people love to listen to nature or every day commotion as they run, but for me, it is all about having one hell of a music playlist! I created one on my iPod which I change up every week or so for a bit of variety. For me, I find listening to my favourite upbeat songs really motivating and distracts me from thinking 'oh my god I am tired I have been running for too long'.

Suitable trainers
Without meaning to sound like an absolute trainer snob, appropriate trainers is a key thing with training. Obviously don't spend your life savings on a pair, just in case you don't stick to it. But you definitely need to be shopping around. I wear Adidas Falcon Elites in White and Pink. A lot of people also rave about Nike (for me they are far too wide for my feet - so definitely try trainers on, don't just listen to reviews!) Having a brother as a Fitness Instructor and knowing several Personal Trainers, the one thing I have been advised over and over again is not getting Nike Roshe Runs. They are great for in the gym, but they are too light and offer no support whatsoever if you are about to do a lengthy run/jog. So you'd most likely end up in an injury! Here I am in all my running gear glory (excuse the mirror selfie and the grumpy face - I'm not mardy I'm just concentrating, promise!)

Nice surroundings
Time goes so much quicker and I enjoy my run more if I have nice scenery and surroundings to look at. At home and at university I have the luxury of living around a five minute walk away from two beautiful, peaceful parks. For me, running along a road is just boring and if you're having to cross roads and things, it can be too 'stop and start' and of course, slightly dangerous. Here are a few snaps of the park where I run while I'm at uni.

Running partner/running club
Similar to listening to music, some people feel that a running partner or joining a running club is good for them. It provides motivation to keep up with the person and gives you that company. This is especially good if you have to run in the evenings after work, for safety reasons.

Try different times of the day
If your schedule is pretty flexible, I would definitely recommend trying to jog at different times of the day. I'm a uni student, so I have the freedom to run morning, evening or night. You learn very quickly when you tend to have the most energy and motivation. For me, anywhere between 9-5 is ideal, but I know some people can only enjoy and complete a jog at the crack of dawn or in their reflective gear at night in the dark.

I hope you find these tips useful - do you jog/run? If so, what are your top tips? Do you find that Roshe Runs are actually perfect running shoes? I'd love to hear from you as always! 

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