Are you ready to run? Now is your opportunity

Get Running: If you don’t start this week you will have more excuses to put it off next week

This is the week to build routine. Aim to get started regardless of how unfit you might feel. Photograph: iStock

This is the week to build routine. Aim to get started regardless of how unfit you might feel. Photograph: iStock

 

Starting something new can be intimidating as well as exciting but having support along the journey can really help make a difference. I am here to help make your running easier, more comfortable and, most importantly, more enjoyable over the next eight weeks.

Give it a try

Now is your opportunity to experiment with running and give it a chance to fit into your life. We are all busy and rarely will you find the time to go for a run; you need to make the time. I will guide you safely and sensibly along the path to becoming a happy and confident runner, but you need to make the effort this week to get out the door. If you don’t start this week you will have more excuses next week.

Choose your days

Decide now where you will fit in your training. Each of our training plans ask you to commit to three training sessions this week. Each session should take no longer than 45 minutes. Choose your dates and times and pop them in your diary like any important appointment. Once it’s on paper you are more likely to commit and less likely to forget. Ideally, spread the training days out across the week to allow for rest days mid-week.

Getting ready to run

Once you have chosen the right programme for you, take a look at your training plan to find out what is in store for you this week. Plan out the route you will take, tell someone the direction you are travelling and dress appropriately for the weather and the time of day. Take a five-minute walk to start to loosen out your body and clear your head before you start running. Finish the session also with a walk to cool down the body gradually.

Pace yourself

When you are starting out running, it’s important you run at a pace where you feel you can breathe comfortably. There is no need to be breathless, red-faced and exhausted at the end of the running minutes when you are a beginner. If that is your experience you may never motivate yourself to go for another run again. Instead, learn to pace yourself. Slow down. The distance doesn’t matter. The minutes certainly won’t go any faster if you run faster.

Extra Help

Whether you are a beginner or making a comeback, you can dip into the weekly emails, videos and training plans at any time when you need a little guidance. In this week’s videos I guide the beginners through a sensible warm-up routine and also some cool-down stretches for after the run. I also discuss running clothing and gear and all you might need to get started.

Get out there

This is the week to build routine. Aim to get started regardless of how unfit you might feel. Take it easy and don’t waste any time worrying about what others might be thinking of your pace or running style. We are all in the process of becoming better runners. Some of us have just had a headstart on others. Runners are a supportive bunch but to be in the gang you need to moving. Now is your chance. Let’s take it one week at a time.

Sign up for one of The Irish Times' Get Running programmes (it is free!). 
First, pick the programme that suits you.
- Beginner Course: This programme is an eight-week course that will take you from inactivity to being able to run 30 minutes non-stop.
- Stay On Track: The second programme is an eight-week course for those of you who can squeeze in a 30- to 40-minute run three times a week.
- 10km Course: This is an eight-week course designed for those who can comfortably run for 30 minutes and want to move up to the 10km mark.
Best of luck!

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