With the air getting a little cooler, autumn is a great time to start running. Say goodbye to sweaty summer running - these crisp autumn days are perfect for luring you out of the gym and onto the trails and streets.
Not only is running it great exercise, but it can be a huge stress reliever. However, if you don't start off right, your runs might be the opposite.
As you lace up your trainers this autumn, use these tips to help you enjoy running and stick to your new routine...
1) Make sure you have the right kit
Running is great because you don’t need lots of equipment. However, because running is a higher-impact sport, it is important to invest in a good pair of well-fitting trainers when you can.
2) Go by minutes, not miles
If you’re not already working out regularly, your running routine should actually start with some walking. This will get your body moving and ready to take on more rigorous exercise.
Walking is still a great way to work out and the perfect way to explore new parts of your city. To begin with, the goal is to run/ walk for 30 minutes, eventually building up to 30 minutes of continuous running.
Your run/walk intervals could begin with one minute running and three minutes walking. If you're a little more active, you might want to try five repeats of 5/2.
To lower your risk of injury make sure you start and finish each run with a few minutes of fast walking. Starting off this way is really beneficial as it allows you to exercise for longer than if you were to go out and only run, which will help to increase your stamina.
It also builds up your cardio without injury or discouragement, and allows your body to adjust.
3) Commit and stick to a schedule
Setting up a regular schedule is important to maintaining any exercise routine.
If you find the right time of day and duration and stick to it, you’re more likely to maintain a routine.
You should look for a part of the day when you have enough time to devote to running without being too rushed, so you can really enjoy yourself.
Make sure you consider safety. If you’ll be running in the dark, wear bright colours and a light. If you’ll be running in an isolated area, do so during the day and carry a phone in case of emergency.
4) Use technology to your advantage
Listening to music is a great way to pump you up before lacing up your trainers. Grab your iPod and make a new running playlist to get you excited to hit the pavement.
As you start to progress, don’t stress about monitoring time or distance, there are various apps available to download, like Runkeeper or Strava that will take care of the numbers for you.
These useful tools are perfect for tracking your mileage and time, and can also help you plan future routes.
5) Listen to your body
Monitor how your body feels throughout the run, and adjust the run accordingly. If you start too fast or do too much, you're more likely to injure yourself.
You'll feel sore when you first begin, but that soreness should go after a week or two. If pain continues, stop and see a doctor.
After you've completed two weeks of run/walk intervals, start adding one to two minutes to your run intervals.
6) Buddy up to keep motivated
Once you get comfortable with your routine, try partnering up with a friend for running date.
Not only does buddying up mean you’ll have someone to run with, but having the date written in your calendar will make you less likely to bail.
After you become comfortable with your routine, consider signing up for a 5k. Rope in some friends to make it a fun occasion!
Remember to keep running fun. Take it easy, be patient, and most of all, enjoy yourself!