Just Starting? Top Tips.

I thought it might be a good idea for those of us who’ve been here a while to compose a list of tips for folk just getting started. Here’s mine, feel free to add to them…

If you can’t complete a run, don’t worry. Re-run it, or drop back a session. Don’t move on to the next one until you’re happy you’ve completed this one. Don’t get caught out thinking each "week" has to be done in a week, take as long as you need.

Don’t worry about how fast you are. Just run. It might start off being slower than a fast walking pace, it doesn’t matter. Speed will come later, if you keep at it.

Get your gait analysed and invest in good, appropriate shoes. Specialist running shops generally fall over themselves to sort you out. It might seem like quite an expense (it is), but it’s worth it.

Listen to your body. If something hurts, find out why and fix it, before you run again. Aches are inevitable, you may even get to enjoy the satisfaction of aching legs after a good run… Digressing. You will ache, that’s fine, but pain is your body’s way of telling you something is amiss, pay attention.

Fall back on the forum. Everyone has a bad run every so often. Moral support here is outstanding, use it. If you’re unsure of anything, ask. There’s plenty of folk here now that have been through it. Most more than willing to chip in an opinion or two.


Featured Content

Join the NHS Couch to 5K community

Couch to 5K has been designed to get you off the couch and running 5km in just 9 weeks

Start today!

Featured by HealthUnlocked

25 Replies

  • I don't necessarily agree with repeating runs, unless, it's a terrible run where you don't finish any of the running intervals. The mind plays games and convinces us we can't do it when we can. If a run went well apart from a brief moment then I would say move on to the next run.

    I agree with gait analysis etc, it can be costly but is definitely important to avoid injury.

  • Fair point. It's a judgement call I guess. My intention was to get across that folk shouldn't push themselves too hard, and there's no reason not to repeat a run. I've seen post from people desperatly trying to get each week done in to a week (if you see what I mean!) and they end up demoralised. Everyone have a different pace and progress isn't linear.

    Quite agree if it's just a blip in an otherwise good run, then no problems.

  • Agreed :)

  • Thanks, been here a while but still a useful read.

    The advice about taking your time, is a good one. I failed the first week because I pushed to hard, I slowed down and was able to get though to week 2 before having to redo a failed run.

  • I agree with all of the above. I don't think Andystev is suggesting repeating a run if you have completed it already - only if you were unable to complete it.

    Gait analysis is essential.

    Make sure you actually ENJOY it. If you can't enjoy the entire run, there should still be a moment of joy, or at least a feeling of satisfaction that you didn't give up at the first hurdle.

  • Exactly, yes, that's what I was getting at.

    Ha! Yes, enjoyment. I nearly put something in about that. But, it took me a couple of months to actually enjoy running. After my first 10k (Lincoln last year) I swore I'd never run again! Hated every minute of it. Proud, and satisfied, but hated it. I started running, and C25K, for the good it'd do me and kept using that to push myself forward. Now I love it. Strange old world.

  • where do I go for gait analysis? and how do I know they are legit and not just trying to sell me the most expensive shoes?

  • Hmm, I was lucky - my boss is a runner and recommended a local running shop. I felt confident they knew what they were doing - I'd told the shop assistant that I had knee and foot pain while running and after watching me run he asked if I had the most pain in my right knee, which I did. He then gave me a selection of shoes to try on, I tried them out on the treadmill and picked the pair that just felt right. Next time I ran, I had no knee or foot pain. I believe there is a chain called Sweatshop that do gait analysis - you could try googling it to see if there is one near you. Otherwise, can you talk to any local runners to see if they can recommend a shop ?

  • Hi Skandia. You live close to Windsor I believe. I was recomended to go to Sweatshop in Windsor for gait analysis & they were fantastic. Really explained everything & showed videos on a split screen, side by sid,e with the different trainers you have tried. I could really see how a certain pair corrected my ankle. A Brucie bonus - they were only £50!

  • Oh yes - I know where it is now! Will give them a go. Must admit I am a bit intimidated by the store looks like its for hard core runners. I feel a bit of a fraud only being on week 2. Hope they are kind to me!

  • Don't be daft! I am over 14st and a size 18 and have never run before but they were brilliant. Even had the courage for a bra fitting. The analysis is done upstairs in a separate room so no one else will see you. Go for it. Just about to go out running in Colnbrook, wish me luck!

  • Go slowly. You really can't go too slowly to start with but you can easily go too fast and be put off.

    If you really don't feel well then wait until you do before continuing.

    Don't be tempted to miss the rest day and run two days on the trot. You could get an injury and it just isn't worth it.

    Gait analysis and the correct trainers are essential.

    Use the forum and keep reading. It will make you laugh and also convince you that you CAN do this.

    Finally, don't beat yourself up if you have a bad run. Just carry on. Remember that this can also be fun :)

  • Some great advice here.

    I would say please do not be too embarrassed to run where people can see you. Most people will be impressed that you're doing something postive. Plus I have always found other runners to be really friendly and really supportive.

  • Absolutly. That's a really good point, I think. I was terribly self concious when I started C25K. It was the middle of Winter, I was runing in pitch black at the crack of dawn, in weather that grounded aircraft and would have had Sir Edmund himself deciding to stay in bed. And I was still worried about people laughing at me huffing and puffing round the common!

    These days I'm running in broad daylight, along routes used by runners, dog walkers, horse riders, rambler and all sorts. I get nods, "hellos", smiles but never yet a laugh.

  • Stay safe, I know you guys don't like the bright pink on jogging clothes but that pink shouts out loud, you can been seen by motorists, Hi Viz jackets are good too.

    Don't be tempted to shoot out of the house or car staight into a run, do your warm up walk, also your cool down walk. Not everyone stretches after a run, I do and find it helps to calm the muscles down.

    Drink plenty to make sure your body is well hydrated especially in this hot weather. You can't drink too much but if you are suffering from a headache after a run the chances are your body needs liquids, no not a beer, water. :)

    Do you suffer from leg cramp, several things could help ease this, 1, Drink more water before a run to hydrate your body. 2, Many of us have cut down on salt in recent times but it can help relieve cramp, so add a little to your dinner now and again or eat a bag of salted crisps with a long cool drink of juice or water.

    3, Tonic water with quinine (Britvic has it in) Qinine was used to treat malaria and it also helps with leg cramps which is proven but not widely known.

    Hope this helps, good luck to all the new joggers and not so new, this is a brilliant place to be when you are working your way through the C25K programme, you don't feel as if you are on your own once you find this site.

  • Great advice here for us newbies on W1 or 2. Especially about going as slowly as you need. My first one in a set is usually too fast.

    Keep them coming!

  • More of a safety one, but make sure you are aware of what's going on around you, its all too easy to get lost in a podcast and your run. We're talking knowing if your being followed or that there is a car coming if you're running on the road.

    Also, Alice bands help keep your earphones in.

  • Hi, what do you do with Alice bands?

  • For me an important one is not to worry about how fast (or not!) you're running, but it took me a while to get my head round that one. Once I realised it's about being fit enough to be able to run non-stop for 5K and not about how fast you were doing it in, I actually started to enjoy running - that happened 3 weeks ago for me :)

  • totally agree about not running through the pain - made that mistake and it set me back quite a few weeks

    I find it useful to break the run into chunks - if you say to yourself you have to run 30 minutes non-stop then your subconscious starts moaning - but if you say you are running 6 five minute intervals it doesn't seem so bad, Shouldn't work but it does.

    Change up your routes - running the same route every couple of days can get monotonous- I found that running a new route often lead to an improvement in time (but as Minuette points out time isn't all important)

    Once you complete the programme I recommend downloading a running app - Runkeeper is very good and is free (there is a premium programme but it doesn't add much)

    Best wishes and good luck

  • Good sports bra!!

  • Great tips and advice..

    My top tip would be, dont listen to that devil on your shoulder telling you that you cant do this.. you know the one.. He/she is always there.. but if you tell her to shut up enough times, eventually all you will hear is the angel on you other shoulder telling you "you can, and you will do it"


  • My favourite tip of all :)

  • Am due to start W2 R1 tomorrow and was having a minor wobble about being able to actually do it... Having read all the top tips I'm feeling ready to tackle it! Great advice, thank you! x

  • Like you I was not convinced I would be able to do any of the runs - especially when I knew how the lengths of time build up. I remember doing 3 mins and thinking I was dead! Now I can do 5km in 31 mins and 6km in 37. I change my routes and include going up and down hills, I have running music and "CardioTrainer" app on my phone that talks to be like Laura used to. You CAN do it - keep an eye on these forums - they are great form encouraging you.

You may also like...