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Stage 1- Before You Run

There are a couple of things to consider before you start putting one foot in front of the other. Running puts a lot of stress on your body and some preparation now will help to keep you injury free.

Trainers: There is one piece of equipment essential to running and that is your trainers. The correct style of trainers will help you to run in the most efficient style for your foot type. This in turn reduces the stresses on other parts of the body and reduces the risk of sports related injury. The best way to determine the right trainers is to visit a specialist running store where they can analyse your 'gait'. Essentially this means they look at how you move and will then suggest the correct type of trainer. Shops very rarely charge for this advice, but would hope that you purchase at least your first pair of trainers from them.

For women: There is one other item; a properly fitted sports bra. Whatever your shape a sports bra will help ensure your comfort and avoid long term damage and stretching. As with the trainers it is worth getting yourself sized properly as the fit is essential to offering proper support.

That is about all you need to get started. In time you will probably purchase sport specific clothing and there are no end of technical gadgets available, but all that can wait until you have some miles under your belt. The first thing to do is get out there and have a go.


Stage 2 - The First Steps.

Many people make the mistake of going for their first run. It may be you already have a level of core fitness due to doing other forms of sport or returning to running after a sabatical. If this is the case feel free to move on to Stage 3. However, if you have not done much exercise in the past few years then this can be quite a shock to the body. As a result, having run as fast as they can for a few yards people can return home convinced that running is not for them.

The majority of new runners are starting from a low fitness base and it is important that the body has time to adapt. A good way of doing this is by starting off run/walking.

To run/walk you start by setting a goal time frame, let us say 20 minutes:

Week one you walk (briskly) for 4 minutes and run (gently) for 1 minute. Repeated four times and you have reached your 20 minute goal. Try this three or four times in a week, whichever you are comfortable with.

Week two you walk for 3 minutes and run for 2 minutes. Repeated four times and you have reached your 20 minute goal. Try this three or four times in a week, whichever you are comfortable with.

Week three you walk for 2 minutes and run for 3 minutes. Repeated four times and you have reached your 20 minute goal. Try this three or four times in a week, whichever you are comfortable with.

Week four you walk for 1 minute and run for 4 minutes. Repeated four times and you have reached your 20 minute goal. Try this three or four times in a week, whichever you are comfortable with.

Week five you run for the full twenty minutes. Try this three or four times in a week, whichever you are comfortable with. Now you are a runner!

If at the end of any week you are not confident that you are ready to move on don't be afraid to repeat the week you have just done. Remember everyone is different and by progressing at your own pace you will minimise the risk of injury.


Stage 3 - Building Up Mileage.

One of the biggest mistakes a new runner can make is to get carried away. Once you can run continuously there is a natural temptation to run more often and further than ever before.

What you have to remember is that whilst you might have the desire, your body will still be adjusting to the increase in exercise and it is at this time that you are most at risk of suffering an overuse injury.

My suggestion would be to start by increasing the distance of just one of your weekly runs and even shortening other runs so your overall mileage stays similar. Once you can comfortably repeat a schedule over a number of weeks then you can increase the distance or frequency again. Always in small stages.

It is also worth looking at other non-impact forms of exercise such as swimming or cycling. This will assist you in improving your core fitness and improve your ability to run, whilst allowing adequate recovery time between runs.

Another way of increasing your motivation is to join a club. Find a local running club and you will find a network of people who will get you running when maybe you don't want too.

Don't forget to keep us posted on your progress. Reading about your small steps helps encourage other people to have a go.



NB: This beginners guide is for information only. It does not constitute professional advice. Please consult your doctor before undertaking any exercise in excess of your current level of activity. If you think there is anything that wants adding to this guide please send me a PM.
 

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Very handy - I am going to feel like a beginner all over again if I ever get out to run again :rolleyes:

good work Hrun :d
 

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Just out of interest, did any one here actually go to their GP before they took up running?

As I see my doctor/nurse on a regular basis it was no problem mentioning I was going to add running to my exercise routine. However, is it the done thing to make an appointment with your GP just to ask them to check you out and give you the green light?

Please note that this is in no way a criticism of the above guide which is excellent.
 

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I didn't go to my GP to ask about this specifically, but since I've repeatedly been told I need to do more exercise, even when I was doing five 40min+ sessions a week (classic GP assumption that overweight=couch potato), I felt that was all I needed!

Quite frankly, unless you have any real issues with your health that mean you need to be careful, I think you're unlikely to get anything other than the standard "do more exercise" mantra. I suppose you might get a blood pressure check, but since the standard response to (slightly) high blood pressure, in my experience and that of my family, is "do more exercise" I'm not sure what the point would be!
 

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thanks. I did my first run this morning, because I already do other forms of exercising I decied I would run 2.5 mins and walk 5 mins. I did 20mins running in total.

Also, thanks for advising sticking to weekly goals In my head I was already for the london marathon :d

Dave
 

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lol last time I saw my GP for my well mans check, now I am 50 , she said, umm your not as Young as you used to be, that me more determined :0
 

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thanks for that, it was pretty much what I was thinking.I've heard so many people say they love running when they get into it, and I'd love to be that person.however, I've always joked that I'm not built for running ( being 32F) but I think I was just using it as an excuse..lol
I've signed up to the race for life in May, and while that may not sound like much of a goal to some, at this point I can't imagine being able to run ( or even jog) continuosly for 5km.
however, I do walk about 15 to 20 miles aweek with my dog and I'm determined to do this....so, fingers crossed......
 

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Thanks for the tips..
 

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thanks for guide, i am one who has been over enthusiastic after enjoying my first time ever to run now i have been asked to rest my knees for a while extremely frustrated, better late than never thanks i am wiser now
 

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I'll take advantage of the fact that this thread is back at the top of the page to share my " progress "

I started to follow this programm few weeks ago with a willing but unfit and overweight friend.

The first two weeks we ran on a local beach (I thought it would be safer for our joints) and the programm was working for both of us despite my friend suffering from a small pain in his calves. Unfortunately, my running partner was then told by a friend of his that it was much harder to run on sand than on the road and he insisted that we ran the next run on the road.

As I had feared, my running partner is not able to run much anymore as he suffers from pain in the calfes, knees and lower back :(.

However, we have found a temporary solution;) : I continue with the program (week four) and he joins me but while we do the walking part together, when it is time for the running part, he climbs on his bike and cycle gently enough not to hurt himself anymore:d.

I really hope we can continue that way as I am not ready yet to go running on my own but I am even less ready to stop running:).
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I would suggest that when your friend is ready to start running again they need to be running slower than you in the early stages.
 

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In fact my friend used to be my hillwalking partner and one condition for him to start running was that we continue walking every other day.

What we plan to do at the moment is to give him a few days or weeks to recover and when he feels ok, we will use what now is my day off running (and our day walking) for him to start the programm from the beginning once more;).

By then, I hope to be fit enough to be able to run a few times one minutes with him on my rest day.

My friend had really started to enjoy running when he hurt himself and he really wants to try again but this time he'll know the risks and get the right shoes and start again by doing most of the running on softer ground.
 

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All the advice given on surfaces and no-one thought to question the footwear? Step one on the guide :)
I knew that ! but my friend would not listen to me and decided to use his usual sport shoes until he could go to a real specialized running shop in Northern Ireland:notrust:. That is the reason I was so adamant on running on the beach;).

As for me I wore running shoes adapted to my neutral gait and that came from a shop that didn't have sophisticated video-treadmill tests but had the advantage of having competent staff and being less than four hours away:p.
 
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