If you enjoy it, running has to be the easiest form of exercise. You don’t need to go anywhere special and other than a good pair of shoes you don’t need any specific or bulky equipment. Even so when you are first getting going it can seem difficult to know where to start, so here is some general advice:-
All the experts agree, the first thing you need to do is to walk a lot. Even if you are relatively fit it can be a mistake to start off at a mad dash. Most running coaches say you should start by walking and then adding small segments of run into your walk, slowly building this up. Every workout should start and finish with five minutes slow walking. It is also recommended to vary your running surface.
Runners Weekly beginners program recommends alternating the following run/walk ratios for 30 minutes.
Week 1: Two minutes running/four minutes walking …
Week 2: Three minutes running/three minutes walking …
Week 3: Four minutes running/two minutes walking …
Week 4: Five minutes running/three minutes walking …
Week 5: Seven minutes running/three minutes walking …
Week 6: Eight minutes running/two minutes walking …
Week 7: Nine minutes running/one minute walking …
Week 8: Thirteen minutes running/two minutes walking …
Week 9: Fourteen minutes running/one minute walking …
Week 10: Run the whole time!
If at anytime your muscles become sore the advice is to return to walking for the whole 30minutes to give the muscles time to recover.
There is no need to start big. No one finds it easy to go out, particularly if it is cold and wet. If you put pressure on yourself to do big distances every day it will be much easier to find reasons not to go. Always remember that doing five minutes is better than nothing and when you have started you may just go on longer.
The right shoes
It is important to have the right shoes as the wrong type of shoes can cause injuries. Running shoes are meant to be very flexible to allow the foot to bend and flex through each step. It is important to get your running shoes fitted. In Sussex good places to go are
- Up and Running in Horsham : www.upandrunning.co.uk/horsham
- The Jog Shop in Brighton : www.jogshop.co.uk
- Alexandra Sports in Portsmouth : www.alexandrasports.com
Many people find that increasing their activity increases their appetite and cause you to crave sweet foods. Larder and Gym offer one-to-one, group and email sessions where you can discuss your worries and work on ways in which this can be avoided. We can also provide strategies to improve performance and to meet the increasing demands of competitive running.
Join a Club
Once you are confident, you may want to set a goal or join a club. Listed below are the main Sussex running clubs. All of them have active adult sections and cater for all abilities. Local races are listed on their websites.
- Brighton and Hove City Athletics Club – Brighton and Hove is the oldest and largest athletics club in the area. They provide coaching and competition training for track and field, cross country, road running and marathon. Very strong in all areas + good junior section. www.brightonandhovecity-ac.com
- Crawley AC – Top class athletics club with a good junior section. Based at the K2 Leisure Centre (RH11 9BQ). www.crawleyac.org.uk
- Fittleworth Flyers – Fittleworth Flyers is a friendly running club, open to everyone who wants to run with others with support, advice and encouragement. www.fittleworthflyers.org.uk
- Horsham Blue Star Harriers – Athletes from 10yrs and up with all standards from beginner to national team members. Lovely friendly club currently based at Broadbridge Health Leisure Centre (RH12 3YS) and using indoor and outdoor facilities. Coaching in wide variety of track and field events offered. www.horshambluestarharriers.org.uk
- Phoenix Athletics and Triathlon Club – Is based at Withdean Stadium (BN1 5JD) which it shares with Brighton & Hove City Athletics Club (see above). Phoenix has members ranging from beginners to elite in both track and field and has a strong multisport section for triathletes. www.brightonphoenix.org.uk
- Steyning AC – Steyning is an active multi-sport club offering training in running, walking, swimming and triathlon. Their club house is in Charlton Street Steyning. www.steyningac.co.uk
- Worthing and District Harriers – An active and fun loving club based at Worthing Leisure Centre (BN12 4ET). Training groups for sprints/hurdles, middle distance, endurance and field events. Thriving U13 group. www.worthingharriers.com