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Running is one of the most accessible ways to get fit. The essentials are a good pair of shoes and for women, a decent sports bra. If you’re taking up running for the first time read my guide and make sure you don’t overdo it!

Running opens up a whole new world of adventure and opportunity, from the excitement of taking part in races to making some of the best friends you’ll ever have!

Running for Beginners    Running Tips    Running for Weight Loss    Running Gear    Training Plans

6 ways to get fit

For A Love Of Running

I know not everyone is going to share my view running is the best form of cardio exercise, but it has been my passport to an adventurous lifestyle.

If you’re trying to get in shape, fast-paced walking is a good starting point. That’s how I started. It’s hard to believe these days but there was a time when I didn’t run. When I skipped school to get out of taking part in sports day.

My love of running came from hiking in the hills. As I got fitter and hiked further, trying to run was a natural progression.

Being a runner has taken me all over the world. I’ve set records with my friend Helene for the route from Everest Base Camp to Kathmandu, (now held by the lovely Lizzy Hawker), taken part in a Sky Run up the Breithorn, and raced up Mount Kinabalu.

Yet it’s often not the big events I look back on fondly. It’s turning out for the club for a muddy cross-country race, the runner’s high from completing a hard training session, or an easy outing with friends in the local hills.

Trail Runs

I have always preferred being in the hills instead of pounding the streets. For me, it adds adventure. It’s a chance to explore.

Of course, the trails are not for the faint-hearted. There’s mud, wind and rain to contend with, not to mention the risk of getting lost. As a beginner, it’s best to join a club and hit the trails with more experienced runners.

Beginner Runners

The best advice if you’re starting to run for the first time is don’t overdo it. Follow my tips and start the Couch to 5K program.

Small steps towards improvement are best and remember it’s always okay to stop and walk. It’s better that you build mileage slowly and get to the point where your current level feels comfortable before adding in extra distance.

Road Running

I may prefer the trails but work locations or the constraints of daylight hours have often seen me out on the roads. Staying safe when you run on the roads should be a priority.

That high-viz vest may not be the latest fashion accessory, but you do need to be seen. A lightweight head torch can also alert motorists to your presence, (and stop you from tripping over paving slabs)!

There’s a tendency for runners to focus on mileage. How far did you go is often the question asked, not how fast. Beginners will aim for a marathon rather than work on their speed.

Now there’s nothing wrong with marathons, I’ve completed a few in my time, but to improve as a runner trying to run faster is essential.

Even if your ultimate goal is endurance, building strength and speed will make you a better runner, both on and off the roads.