Going on your first run can seem like a daunting experience. If you’ve never pounded the cement before, this is definitely going to be a whole new thing for you. However, while it may seem scary, the benefits far outweigh your initial anxieties. You’ll come back feeling fitter, stronger and refreshed, not to mention much happier. If you’re planning on going on your first run, here’s what you need to do to prepare.
1. Get dressed
It may seem like a bizarre thing to say, as obviously, you’re not going to leave the house without any clothes on! However, we’re talking about wearing the right clothes more than just getting dressed. You’re going to want running gear that is both comfortable and protective, particularly if you’re going to be running on the hard pavement. Find clothes that are shock absorbing and definitely don’t forget a sports bra, ladies! If you’re going to be running in the evening or if the skies are dark, make sure you wear something that is reflective. This will ensure that vehicles can see you and will keep you safe.
2. Tie your shoelaces
Again, perhaps another bizarre thing to say! However, tying your shoelaces the right way will ensure your feet don’t slip which can cause injury. You’ll also want to make sure you have the right running shoes for you. Our best advice would be to go to a sports clothing store and ask for them to fit you a pair or running shoes. This will ensure you’ve got the right size, they’re comfortable, and you’re not going to sprain your ankle on your first run. There are plenty of sneaker and sports stores that will help you find the perfect running shoe.
3. Fill up your water bottle
One of the most important things you’ll need to remember on your first run is to stay hydrated; especially if it’s warm outside. We’d recommend buying a water bottle that has been specifically designed for runners, as these are easier to hold onto when you’re pounding the pavement. You can also buy clever bands that will attach your water bottle to your arm (doubling up as an extra workout) or belts that you can clip your bottle too. Make sure it’s filled with fresh, cold water before you leave the house.
4. Plan your route
It’s a good idea to plan where you’re going to run before you set off. You can use a clever running app such as Strava or RunKeeper that will track you as you run, too. Or, simply use Google Maps to work out how far you want to run and in which distance. After all, you don’t want to start running into dead ends or getting lost. Plan your route carefully and be realistic, this is your first run after all!
5. Know your limits
Along the same lines of being realistic when planning your route, it’s important you know your limits for your first run. If you’ve never been running before, it’s unlikely you’re going to complete half marathon distances on your first go. Even if you are really fit and healthy! Set yourself a small limit to start with, then work on slowly increasing the distance and speed as you get better. Many people give up running as they feel like it’s too hard or they’re not achieving their goals, to start small and work up.
You’re now ready to go on your first ever run! You’re wearing the right clothes and shoes, you’ve got a full water bottle, you know where you’re going, and you’re mentally prepared. On your marks, get set… Go!