It’s exactly one year since I started on my running journey. There have been highs, lows, tears, smiles, injuries, disappointments and amazing achievements.
I have taken part in 4 actual races (Nottingham MoRun 10k, Silverstone Half Marathon, Great Birmingham 10k and Nottingham 10k), a few virtual races and I’ve clocked up over 410 miles (I didn’t keep a record for the first month until I got my garmin!)
My current pbs are:
5k – 35:56
10k – 01:14:59
half marathon – 03:15.04
I have been lucky enough to meet some amazing people at races and on Twitter and look forward to meeting more at my upcoming races.
To say that running has impacted on my life is an understatement! Running has challenged me, it’s made me smile, it’s made me cry, it’s made me a stronger person, it’s opened up my eyes to so many possibilities, it’s changed how I see myself, It’s made me want to do even better, to be the best version of me that I can, It’s made me realise that I am capable of so much more than I ever knew, it’s made me push myself, it’s made me try new things, I’ve gained so many amazing friends, I’ve found a love of lying on the floor (after a long run I may add!), I’ve found a love of Tweeting and telling everyone about my runs, I love protein shakes and water, I love buying new running shoes/clothes and it’s given me my smile back.
Running really can change your life…
Along the way I’ve received some fab advice and had amazing support. I keep thinking about what I would say to new runners and what I would like to have heard when I started out. So I thought I’d compile a list (in no particular order):
- Run with a smile
- Don’t try to do too much too quickly
- Don’t compare your running journey to others
- Get involved in social media running groups. (Ukrunchat on Twitter is amazing!)
- Sign up to a race to keep you motivated
- Follow a plan
- Believe in yourself, and train your brain.
- You can run through a stitch!
- That sick feeling in your stomach doesn’t last and you can run through it.
- Cross train!! Leg strength and core strength will help your running so much.
- Stretch after every run!
- Sports massages hurt but they really do make a difference!
- Get a good sports bra (for all the ladies out there!) we don’t be wanting any black eyes!
- Hydrate and fuel properly.
- It’s ok to walk.
- Not every run will be a pb. Not every run will feel good. But you can find something good in every run.
- Rest days are important.
- Keep a running journal/set up a blog/make a running wall to post pbs and hang medals
- Invest in some good running shoes and have your gait analysed. It will be worth it in the long run!
- Invest in some proper running socks – blisters are not good!!
- Set yourself some goals. Short term and long term. Make them a challenge but also within reach. Make them something to work towards, but don’t make your running only about them, running should still be enjoyable rather than a chore.
- You can never have too much running kit.
- When it’s cold wear layers that you can take off as you warm up and definitely wear some running gloves. Cold fingers when running isn’t nice!!
- Don’t be scared of what people might say. You are doing an amazing thing; getting out there, exercising and getting fitter and healthier.
- You don’t need an expensive, fancy, all-singing, all-dancing running watch. There are so many different ones out there that you can choose, but look for features you will use most. You can also download some fantastic running apps to track your runs.
- Get yourself an ICE bracelet, dog tags, watch tag, shoe tag or bag tag to take with you on every run which contains information about you in case of emergency, such as: name, your date of birth, emergency contacts, allergies, blood group etc…
- Music can be a real motivator, but try to do at least some runs without music. Some races don’t allow you to wear headphones so doing some training runs music free is good race prep.
- Running in the rain makes you even more hardcore and is actually quite refreshing. Not every race will be dry!
- Listen to your body. Some aches are to be expected as you are using muscles you don’t normally use, but rest and ice injuries that aren’t just muscle soreness.
- Make sure you go to the toilet before you run! It’s always when you are the furthest point from home that you have the urge to pee!
- If you run, you are a runner. No matter how fast or slow.
- Lay out your running kit the night before you plan to run. It will act as a reminder that you have a run planned and will make you more likely to go for your run.
- Take your phone with you. Turn it onto silent, or plug in your headphones and put on some music. But make sure you have it with you just in case you get lost or injured!!
Running is pretty incredible…
Anyone can be a runner, lace up your trainers and take it one step at a time. It won’t be easy, I hated it at first, but just give it a chance and see what amazing things you can achieve.
Run with a smile.