Essential running tips for beginners…by a beginner

Avoid the gym and hit the road with our top tips

Eager to get fit? Same here. Don’t want to pay ridiculous monthly gym fees? Us too. Our answer? We’ve taken up running.

Ahead of the Rio Olympics we thought we’d share a few tips and tricks we’ve learned from our experience so far. After all, we wouldn’t want you pounding the pavements unprepared.

If the shoe fits…

We can’t stress this enough, a solid pair of running shoes that fit properly are absolutely crucial. That manky old pair of converse just won’t cut the mustard; indeed, you could end up doing more bad than good. You don’t have to break the bank buying a pair of running shoes, but it’s worth investing as you’ll notice the difference in the long-term.

If you’ve a local specialist running shop, that’s the place to head. In most cases they employ experienced runners who are more than willing to share their knowledge. These days, most specialist stores also measure your gait to ensure your legs provide perfect support; rather than bore you with the technical stuff, you can read more here.

You shouldn’t feel obliged to buy the first pair you tried on, we ran around in seven or eight pairs before making a decision. We really like Runners Need. Why not pop in for a consultation and then complete your purchase online via Quidco to pocket cashback.

Stay positive…

It’s important to be realistic when you start running. Unless you’re genetically gifted it’s unlikely you’ll be the next Mo Farah or Jess Ennis from the get go. Don’t be disheartened, we found a great way to measure progress was to count the number of songs that played before we collapsed in a sweaty mess.

Over time knocking off the kilometres gets easier and easier and before you know it you’re flying…well, not literally, but you know what we mean.

Keeping track of the distance covered is easier than ever. If you’ve got a smart phone there are all sorts of free apps you can download that will measure your runs and provide inspiration. RunKeeper, Strava, Adidas Train & Run, and best running are all available on iOS and Android for free.

If you fancy making a bigger investment, why not try the Fitbit Surge – billed as the perfect hybrid between smart watch and fitness tracker. Buy online via Wiggle to secure cashback.

Remember, there's cashback available

Kit yourself out

If you’ve seen the movie Run Fat Boy Run, you’ll remember Simon Pegg’s character stepping out for his first jog in a band t-shirt and some ridiculously small shorts. We didn’t quite make that mistake, but we did attempt to run in Primark leggings and it was hideously uncomfortable! So, when it comes to running, Lycra leggings are your friend, they really do make you feel more aerodynamic.

You don’t have to get them in foam party inspired garish colours – although that is all the rage these days – something more subdued (like black!) will do. We’re not saying they make all the difference, but the first time we completed 5 kilometres we were wearing Lycra leggings, so they hold a special place in our heart.

If you don’t want to spend a fortune we recommend making a purchase from Sports Direct where you can pick up running leggings by Karrimor, a recognised brand, for £9.50. They also do a winter version with padding on the thigh and bum to keep your warm (£11.49) and both have a handy zip pocket for your keys and other essentials. If shorts are more your style, they make those as well.

Stay hydrated

It’s vitally important that you take on liquid when you’re running. Obviously, it’s not particularly convenient carrying a water bottle while you’re out and about so we suggest an ergonomically friendly version by Ultimate Performance (£3.60) from Runners Need. If you don’t want to run with it in your hand, there’s even a carry belt available that straps around your waist.

Now that you’re all kitted out and you’ve invested a small (but justifiable) fortune, get yourself out there and run or jog a bit and then run and then walk a bit and repeat.

You’ll love it!

This post was written by Ellie Marchant-Williams…Quidco’s new runner extraordinaire.

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