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Running tips for beginners: Couch to 5k

Running tips for beginners: Couch to 5k

Whether you’re looking to get back into exercising after lockdown or challenge yourself to something new, everyone has to start somewhere. The Couch to 5K running plan is great for beginners, helping you gradually work up towards running five kilometres in just nine weeks!

Sometimes it can be difficult to try new things, especially when it comes to exercising. We often doubt our own abilities and worry about whether we’re good enough, but the Couch to 5k programme is a 9-week plan designed for complete beginners and includes 3 runs a week.

It doesn’t matter if you haven’t even run for a bus before, anyone can get started. You can download the entire programme as an app on your smartphone or just follow the podcasts, guiding you through week-by-week.

Running is a great form of exercise, it’s free, you can do it anywhere and it’s good for your physical and mental health. Regular physical activity including running can reduce your risk of chronic conditions including heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

We’ve put together the perfect running guide with some top tips to help you get started.

1. Starting out: preventing injury

Stretching before a run is important as this warms up your muscles and will prevent any injuries from happening.

Only run at a pace that suits you, don’t start off with a sprint as it will be harder for you to pick up the pace.

If you feel like you’re overdoing it, take a break! Always listen to your body – you’re more likely to receive an injury if you push yourself too far.

2. Plan your route

Always plan your running route so you don’t get lost, especially if you’re a beginner. There’s nothing worse than stopping to check where you’re going and losing your momentum.

Check the type of ground along your route you’ll be running on and make a note of any inclines, this will help you prepare the right equipment.

3. Wear the right footwear

If you’re serious about taking up running, make sure you invest in a quality pair of trainers that will support your feet, this will prevent injuries from happening.

Take the time to find the shoes that best fit you, all trainers are different and won’t suit everyone’s feet. It’s worth visiting a specialist sports store and try various styles on until you find the right pair that suits your posture and foot type.

4. Incorporate cross-training

Make some time in-between running sessions to do some extra strength training and conditioning. Building your strength will help you withstand the impact of running and the stronger you are, the longer you’ll be able to run for.

Conditioning exercises will improve your form and help prevent injury. Incorporate squats into your workout routine as this will help build your quads, hamstrings, glutes and calve muscles which are key muscles used when running.

5. Keep motivated

Motivation will help you focus and work towards your end goal. Try sticking on your favourite upbeat tunes while you run to keep you going.

Reach out to a friend you can rely on and see if they’re interested in running with you. Having someone to motivate you can make all the difference.

6. Recovery

Include at least one rest day a week in-between training, this will help reduce muscle strain. Rest and recovery days help strengthen your body and lift your spirits ready for the next run. Try to incorporate light exercise into your rest day including yoga, tennis and cycling, this will help loosen up your muscles.

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Our Multi-Sports Cover provides you with cover for all sports which fall into the same category as your chosen sport. Whether you love mountain biking or running, we have the insurance for you! Check out all the sports we can offer cover for and get a quote today!

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