Tips for first time runners!

Running

If you are a first-time jogger with no previous experience aside from running around in Pick ‘n Pay panic-buying right before lockdown, we would like to say, kudos to you! 

Even the fact that you are reading this blog right now to gain some insight as to where to start means that you dare to step out of your comfort zone and do something many of us fail to do - try something new. If you have never been a jogger, but really want to start somewhere, you have come to the right place. 

Here are the top 5 tips we at Fitness Fables believe will give you the kickstart you need. 

Take it slow 

“It’s a marathon, not a sprint”. Yes, probably one of the most overused clichés ever but it is a cliché for a reason. Starting a new habit is already tough enough especially if you are a bit unsure, so do not go all out on your first try. We suggest setting realistic goals for yourself even if it is to run for 1km without stopping. Fitness Fables believe that there is no shame in slow progress. Everyone has different circumstances, lifestyles, environments and reasons for running, so instead of trying to complete the two oceans by one week, ask one of our trainers to help you start slowly with realistic goals

Fable Tip: Increase your total weekly time or distance by no more than 10% from week to week. For example: If this week you ran 30 minutes total, you will run 33 next week. Or if you ran 2 km total this week, you will run 2.2km total next week.

Embrace the walks 

Listen, we’ve all been there - You’ve got your best workout tracks on your phone, you know the exact route you will jog and you drank about 4 energy drinks a few hours earlier in preparation for this jog only to find that five minutes later you are out of breath, everything hurts and it feels like you are dying. Rest assured, whether you come from a couch or you are just a little unfit, running takes time to really break into. Start slowly, build up gradually and embrace the walks in between. Do not get discouraged if you are walking every 10 minutes. Soon, you will become more used to running for longer. 

Fable Tip: Don’t ever get discouraged. Walking in between your jog is normal for most people. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You will still burn great calories walking!

Get yourself a buddy 

Whether you jog with a friend who lives nearby or you regularly log your jog with your fitness coach, make sure you appoint someone that will be able to motivate, and push you when needed because let’s face it, it isn’t always easy to get up and workout. We are not saying you need Terry Crews to run behind you playing eye of the tiger through a megaphone, all you need is a little support to help you achieve your goals and keep you accountable. 

Running

Fable Tip: Share your goals with your running-buddy. Let them know what 

you would like to achieve and work towards your goal together. 

Set some goals 

Another cliché coming your way - “A goal without a timeline, is just a wish”. Setting your weekly goal plays an integral part in staying consistent in your workout and it is much more rewarding than mindless running. Setting goals can be tough especially when you have never set goals in running before. Fortunately, Fitness Fables can help. Our qualified trainers will be able to assess you and give you comprehensive and realistic goals to achieve in your running.

Fable Tip: Celebrate small victories. Reaching your goal should be cause for celebration. Whether it is a long bath, a glass of wine or a day on the couch with your favourite series, reward yourself for reaching those goals. You earned it. If you are running to lose weight avoid rewarding yourself with unhealthy snacks. 

You need the right “gear” 

“A bad sportsman blames his equipment”. Once again a cliché, however, we can confirm that in this case, this cliché is false. Bad running shoes can be the very reason you stop running. You do not need the latest Nikes on the market, but you need to invest in a pair of quality running shoes to get you started. 

Fable Tip: Replace your running shoes after 600km - 800km. 

Whether you have never owned a pair of running shoes or lockdown has knocked your fitness-level back to ground zero, the best advice we can give you is to just start somewhere. We encourage you to buy a pair of shoes, set your goals, talk to a fitness instructor, take it easy and enjoy the results.