Although the cold months are approaching, it is actually a lot easier for running beginners to tackle the daunting first run in the cool evening. Summer runs actually become rather hard to tackle with the heavy sun causing heat exhaustion and dehydration. But the cooler months will give you the chance to relax into the first run, using the damp ground and moist air as a great way to really get going. The exercise can also help cure the winter blues, and will boost your immune system to prevent winter colds, giving you added incentive this season! So where should you start?
Choosing the right gear
Whether you’re about to attempt the trail or just pavement hop around the streets near your home, it’s important to have the right gear and especially if you are running in the evenings - that you remain visible. Make sure that you stay warm, with long sleeved layers and waterproof linings (if it’s raining). Base layers will be a beneficial under layer in the cold weather. While gloves and a fleecy headband will stop you losing heat from your head and hands.
When it comes to footwear, the choice can be overwhelming, and the best option will depend on the kind of running you’re going to do. For example, the Hi-Tec Haraka running trainers are a fantastic choice for road runners and treadmill fans. But for those who want to go off road and run steep inclines on rocky trails, we’d strongly recommend investing in trainers which are specifically designed for trail running. These will have a thicker sole unit to absorb impact, and a high density lugged sole to keep you grounded. The V-Lite Infinity Trail Running trainers are a great choice.
Whatever trainers you choose for your running, make sure that they’re lightweight and breathable. Even in the cold weather, your feet will still sweat and you’ll appreciate the air coming through. You can always buy some merino socks to wear with your trainers during autumn and winter, then swap back to thinner trainer socks when Spring comes around.
Find your pace
For your first run, don’t overdo it, otherwise your recovery period will be longer and this will not improve your stamina. Going running with a group to start off will really help with your confidence and help you find a pace that you’re comfortable with. Start off by breaking into a light jog, focusing on the breathing element, then find a pace that feels right for you. Beginner runners have the habit of running too quickly. Be sure to breathe and slow to a running pace that suits your breathing. Don’t push too hard too quickly, there’s plenty of time to work your way up!
Look at the positives
Running is not only a fantastic form of physical exercise, but also mental stimulation – doesn't everyone need that in the winter? It has a range of health benefits, with regular running improving the health of your heart and lungs, whilst also helping you to lose weight and tone up. Not to mention preventing those sniffly colds that seem to come round every year!
Running can also be a great way of relaxing and winding down after a long day. Okay, so you may not be up to it after the 10 hour Christmas shopping marathon (we think you’ve earnt yourself a break that evening!), but it’s certainly a welcomed breath of fresh air after the gift wrapping shift!
Change it up
Sticking to the same running trail can sometimes be repetitive and make running a chore. Try mixing it up with some new routes. Instead of planning your route – why not go exploring around your area? Running is a fantastic way to uncover hidden trails and footpaths. There are also some great running apps that can help you plan your route so you’re not sticking to the same track and this will give you the chance to set yourself new distances on varied terrain, maybe even try a hillier route?
Just make sure you stay safe. Remember it will be getting dark earlier, so if you’re running in the evening, consider investing in a personal alarm and don’t stray too far from street lights without a torch to find your way back.
Set a goal
Setting running goals will vastly improve your running performance. By having a goal, this will help keep you motivated and challenged. As long as it’s realistic of course!
Try running in intervals until you feel comfortable as interval training can be extremely beneficial in improving stamina. Once you feel comfortable, try increasing the time that you run compared to walking in-between. Once you’re running for 30 minutes continuously, you’ll find it easier to progress your pace and distance. Try running at least twice a week, making time either in the mornings or evenings.
Hi-Tec wish you the best of luck in starting your running this Autumn, make sure that you stay safe, stretch before and after runs and have fun! To help fuel your running wardrobe needs, check out Hi-Tec's Men's, Women's and Kids sports trainers.