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Running for Beginners. How to Start Running

Updated: Mar 25


Have you struggled to run for a month, for a week, a few days? What about for ten minutes, or two? You are not alone.


Running IS hard, especially at the beginning. Assuming that your doctor has cleared you to exercise, here are a few pointers to help you get started and stay on the path to health. Walking, and walking mixed with running, is a great way to get into moving for health and, for many, the introduction to successful running in the long-term.

 
  • Take it Easy - Walk. If your body is not used to exercise don’t force it. Put on your shoes and walk. How does it feel just to walk? Make time to do it, tell your friends and family (maybe even invite them) and walk. The physical and mental health benefits of a simple walk are undisputed.

  • Distance. Set distance as a goal rather than a time. 5km (3 miles) is perfect for beginners. Why? Most people can walk 5km in an hour and the distance is generally considered the first goal for runners to achieve. If 5km is too much, try 3km and work your way up.

  • Frequency. Set the number of times per week you want to exercise, this will help you to keep to a plan. Be realistic. For some it might be once a week to start with, for others three times a week is possible. The aim is to make exercise a regular habit. You can always increase the number of days once you are used to getting out.

  • Walk-Run. Transition from walking to a walk-run. A walk-run is a perfect way to get the body used to moving. Feel your body’s response. The feeling in your feet and legs. How is your posture? How is your breathing? Keep it easy. Use lamp posts as markers: set yourself a goal to jog two, then walk one. Jog five, walk two. Whatever works for you.


  • Run slow. Do not get caught in the trap of running faster than you are comfortable with. This is a common mistake. Run at your own pace, don’t try to beat your younger self. Live in this moment: you are here, now, improving your health.

  • Re-read the above point. Keep it easier and slower than you think you should be going.

Many people remember running as a school punishment. It takes time to reframe running as a valuable and, hopefully, enjoyable exercise.
  • ‘I just got overtaken by a kid/uncle/aunty!’ Don’t worry about anyone else on the path, young or old. Everyone is working to their own pace and rhythm.

  • Online Training Programmes. There are many online running programmes available. We prefer programmes that err on the side of caution and progress over a slightly longer time.

  • Commitment. How are you going to commit to regular exercise, what happens when life conspires to stop you from exercising? Have a back-up plan ready in advance. If you cannot run today, can you run tomorrow? Are you an evening runner or morning runner? How will you fit the run into your schedule? Who can support you in this?

These videos might help:




Says The Whole Health Practice's Felicia Koh, who used to find running a chore...

Don’t set yourself up for failure: make your exercise sessions enjoyable and manageable. Have a goal in mind and keep the pace slow. Remember to enjoy the ride, enjoy being outdoors.
  • Check out your neighbourhood. Perhaps there are popluar local walking or running routes nearby to home or office.

  • Running watches and phone apps can also suggest local routes. Plus track your distance, your time and keep you motivated. Specialist running watches are great and nowadays the lower end versions have more than enough features to take you all the way to half-marathons and beyond.

  • Google Maps is especially useful to plan routes. There is a measuring tool (right click on map) that is invaluable.

  • Does your area have walking or running clubs? Check online. Singapore has dozens, many are casual and suited to beginners. Check out justrunlah.com and runsociety.com for listings.

  • Instagram is inspirational. Look for local running hashtags. In Singapore #sgrunners #sgfitness #sgfitfam #justrunlah #runsociety

  • Stay hydrated, drink water. Do not drink a sugar laden (sports) beverage that has more calories than you burn. A 5km (3m) walk-run burns about 330 calories.

  • We have made quite a few ‘running friends’ on our local park connector running route. A friendly ‘good morning’ or ‘evening’ brings a smile to all our faces.

 

After the first month you become fitter and your lifestyle changes to accommodate the running. Make exercise a part of your life and reap the benefits!


Stay Healthy,


Alastair


  • Once you get some fitness and confidence it can be nice to experience trail running, to enjoy the benefits of running and getting into nature.

 

Achieve your Health Goals






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