A glance outside most local areas will likely reveal a new abundance of avid athletes inspired by the lockdown and brighter weather.
Previously, if I were spotted out running, it was a cause for great concern that I was being chased! This is not an insane assumption considering the only reason I would ever be running would be for my life. However, I have now extended my athletic experiences further from the traumatic bleep test and recently ran my first 10k! I should clarify that by ran, I mean jogged-at-the-pace-of-a-90-year-old-with-hip-replacements, but it is all relative!
There are fantastic benefits to running but be sure to exercise caution with these tips for taking up running…
Tips for Taking Up Running
Know your limits
Breaking your boundaries is great but breaking your body? Not so much! It is important to push yourself to reach your goals and to do your best, but it is also essential that you recognise your limits. The best way to do this is to ensure that you are aware of your boundaries and know how far is too far. If you are not 100% certain of your current limits, then take things slow and gradually build up.
Hydration is key
Cardio fitness tends to work up a sweat which is why it is so important to rehydrate properly. While most of us will drink water immediately after our run to alleviate the initial thirst, it is important to continuously rehydrate across the hours following your run. Staying hydrated is also a valuable way of reducing your chances of injury as water helps transport energy to our cells and cushions our joints.
Remember your sun cream
Whether you run through rain or stick exclusively to sunny spots, SPF is an essential element of your athletic career. Even on cloudy and overcast days up to 80% of the suns harmful rays can still penetrate the clouds and damage your skin so do not skip out on the sun cream. If you find yourself sweating through sun cream, then these water-resistant options offer the best protection.
Check out our guide to understanding the significance of SPF for more.
Make sensible investments
We are bigger fans of athletic wear then we are of actual athletics! However, running “gear” can be expensive and not the necessity some brands would like you to believe. What is essential is a good pair of runners. Gorgeous workout wear can help motivate you to actually go for a run but when working off a budget prioritize a proper pair of runners. Quality runners will help reduce injuries by offering support and will also be a longer lasting investment than many other workout “essentials”.
If you are in need of some inspiration here are 40 gorgeous pairs of runners for under €60!
Acknowledge your aches
Be aware of old injuries that may flare up following runs particularly joint issues. Rest days do not just give you a much-appreciated mental break, but they are also really important for your physical wellbeing. Learning to distinguish from the natural muscle aches related to your hard work and the more dangerous twinges will be a worthwhile lesson. If you are unsure or worried about a nagging ache, remember that it is better to be safe than sorry.
Always warm up and cool down
One of the easiest ways to limit any potential injuries is to ensure you always warm up and cool down. Sometime under time constraints it can be tempting to skip this step, but it is not worth the potential damage. There are plenty of quick and simple guides to help lead you through some safe exercises to gently energise and unwind your muscles.
Set a goal
Motivation is one of the biggest obstacles you are likely to face when taking up running. Setting yourself a goal will help to inspire and encourage you to achieve the target. Apps like Couch to 5k and Couch to 10k (Tried and tested successfully by yours truly!) offer great athletic challenges that you can take at your own pace and motivate you to persevere with your endeavour.
Have you any tips for taking up running?