With gyms, swimming pools and sports centres closed, many of us have turned to running to fill the fitness void. Not only are you staying fit, you’re also getting some invaluable respite from being stuck in the house all day. But if you find yourself staring wistfully at your trainers unsure where to start, we’ve got a few tips to help get you pounding the pavement.
1. Download a training app
Our top pick is the Couch to 5K app as it’s perfect for absolute beginners, giving you a detailed 3 month training plan which includes plenty of walking and rest breaks – yes please. Endomondo is a close second with an Audio Coach feature to keep you motivated throughout your run.
2. Set small goals
Goal #1: Go outside. Goal #2: Run to the end of the road. Goal #3: Run to the park. Keep your goals small and achievable, nothing is more off-putting than imagining a marathon before you can run a mile.
3. Gamify your run
Zombies, Run! is a storytelling app that puts you at the centre of a dystopian future where zombies have taken over the planet and you have to run for supplies. This one might hit a bit close to home at the moment but nothing says running motivation like being chased by zombies. A more gentle option is The Walk, which also puts you in an end of the world scenario undertaking missions to save the world, albeit at a slower pace.
4. Switch up your audio
If you find yourself listening to music and feeling like every 3 minute song is taking a lifetime, try listening to a podcast or audiobook instead. You’ll be so focussed on what you’re listening to, you’ll forget you’re even running. Top running podcast picks: The New Yorker Fiction Podcast; How to Fail with Elizabeth Day; Love Stories with Dolly Alderton.
5. Don’t track your run
If your social media is full of screenshots of people’s runs which seem to be more of a half hour sprint than a jog, it’s easy to feel like you’re failing in comparison and give up. So take the metrics out of it. Get out there for the sake of some fresh air and exercise, and don’t worry about who’s ‘winning’.