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How Do I Start Running?

Put one foot in front of the other, and just take one step at a time! It doesn’t matter how far you go or how quickly you get there, the important thing is that you have chosen to include running in your life and you understand the huge benefits that this will bring.

It may seem a bit daunting at first, and if you’ve never run before, then why not download the NHS Couch to 5K app. It’s a great programme, that will build you, slowly over 9 weeks, towards running 5k without stopping. It not only includes the programme, but there is lots of motivation on their site too.

Why Do I Need A Programme To Tell Me How To Run?

You don’t have to follow a programme, but doing so will allow you to build your stamina gradually. This will help you to:

  • Build fitness without injury
  • Build stamina that is sustainable
  • Gradually increase the amount of time you run without stopping.

These are all important reasons for starting slowly. Doing too much too soon, is unlikely to reap good results. Over stretching yourself can easily result in injury and may put you off running entirely.


If you do download the programme don’t be tempted to skip weeks. If you are finding it too easy, you could reduce the rest days between runs in the first week or so, but as it steps up, do make sure you take the time to let your body recover.

If you’re finding it tough be prepared to repeat weeks until you can complete the week comfortably before moving on to the next one. The app takes you on a nine-week journey, but there is no limit to how long it you can take over it. If you take a bigger break between weeks, make sure you repeat at least the week you’ve completed most recently, rather than picking straight up where you left off.

Why Choose Running?

Running is widely associated with positive physical health.

After all it’s a whole-body workout that is easily accessible for everyone.

The mental health benefits are equally rewarding, if not greater than the physical ones. Running gives you:

  • Time to yourself
  • Natural endorphins are released to give you a good feeling
  • Sense of achievement
  • Social interaction with other runners. Runners say hello to other runners, that’s just what happens
  • Opportunities to challenge yourself and focus on goals ahead

Don't Be Too Hard On Yourself

Be gentle on yourself, it takes time to build distance and pace. Let your body adjust slowly to what you’re asking from it. Mix up where you run with canal towpaths, parks, streets, reservoirs and playing fields.

Enjoy Some Social Running

From Parkrun to local running clubs and all the other social running groups in between, you’re bound to make some new running friends. It will be good for your health and well-being and it will become fun too.



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