One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions in 2018 is to exercise more – and what better way to do that than to start running?
Now, you may think running is a daunting task but it is really simple and a cheap way of burning those Christmas calories – all you need is a pair of trainers!
You could also aim for a target, such as the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10K on Sunday, May 6.
The popular event features a walking wave – so if you’re new to running, or haven’t been out running for a while, there’s no need to feel daunted.
Hundreds signed up to walk the iconic route last year and 2018 is looking as popular as ever.
To make the process a little easier and to help you prepare, the Great Run Company have put together their most essential tips to get you running this January:
How to start?
Start off by getting yourself a pair of trainers and some breathable running clothes. You don’t need to break the bank, but you shouldn’t be running in your everyday trainers and heavy joggers!
Then it’s about taking it one mile or kilometre at a time.
Don’t overdo it
Start off by running for a steady 20 minutes or so then once you feel comfortable running for that amount of time, just increase it ever so slightly.
The number of days you run is up to you, but you don’t need to run everyday of the week – three times is ideal.
And make sure you give yourself time to rest in between each one.
Set yourself a goal
It can be very difficult taking your first step outdoors in the winter months, but having a goal in mind, no matter how small, is the ideal motivation.
Make a playlist
Think Eye of the Tiger, Beautiful Day and Don’t Stop Me Now for some of the best fist pumping, energetic tracks to help you take on those extra miles.
Remember what your granny used to say about wrapping up warm?
Well this is the time to take her advice!
Be wise to the cold weather, but don’t overdress, as you’ll naturally heat up when you start exercising.
Dust off your trainers
Clean up those running shoes you haven’t worn in months and mark the beginning of a healthier, fitter you.
If it takes you a while to get motivated, try wearing them around the house for a few days to start with.
Find a great location
To love running is to run in a place you love.
The UK is full of beautiful parks, trails, beaches and cities all waiting to be explored.
Spend a little time researching new areas and keep it interesting by mixing up your routes.
Brave the elements
Enjoy the exhilarating feeling of running in the rain or seeing your breath sweep in front of you on a crisp winter morning.
If it helps, just picture everyone else scoffing Christmas treats for breakfast!
Think of the benefits
Running is the perfect way to burn calories, it’s good for your joints, and actually raises your IQ.
A Swedish study found a link between high levels of aerobic fitness and better results in an IQ test – ideal for your next Trivial Pursuit game-night!
Find a running buddy or group
Running is always better together, so grab your friend or partner and try running with them.
Jogging at a comfortable speed usually means you can have a chit chat along the way too.
If you don’t have anyone to run with, you an always sign up to the FREE Great Run Local sessions that take place around the country.
Walking is exercise too!
Don’t worry if you can’t run continuously when you first start.
It’s ok to take short walking breaks as you build up your cardio fitness.
If you’ve got a running playlist on, try jogging for one song and walking for the next.
Keep a training log
You don’t need the latest running tech to keep up to date with how far you’re running.
Just make sure you log the time you’re out running each time in your diary.
You can always download a free running app, which tracks your distance when you head out too.
You are a runner
If you’re struggling to motivate yourself, just remember fitness doesn’t happen overnight and will take time.
You will start to see small improvements as you keep moving so don’t despair.
You are a runner. And you can run.
How to enter the Great Birmingham 10K
The Great Run Company is the UK’s biggest organiser of mass participation running events, including the Great Birmingham 10K, Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run half marathon, Birmingham International Marathon and Junior & Mini Great Birmingham Run.
It’s easy to sign up for this year’s Great Birmingham 10K, just click here and follow the instructions.