Top tips for first-time runners
Whether an ultra-marathon fanatic, or slow and steady parkrunner, one thing is guaranteed - everyone was at some point a first time runner.
So, we asked our global community of runners for their top tips and advice for first-time runners - the advice they wish they'd been told, and pulled together our favourites below. A big thank you to everyone that contributed.
The overriding message - your nerves, the apprehension, the 'what if I have to walk' - all totally normal - BUT IGNORE IT! Give it a go and you may well surprise yourself! And most importantly it does not matter what pace you run, or walk - it most definitely is the taking part that counts.
- It doesn't matter why you are there, whether it is for fitness, weight loss, the challenge; remember you have already won. You are now a runner! Congratulations and line up with a smile on your face - Geraint Pritchard
- Get out there & enjoy it, put on what you have & see how you feel about running. If you want to take it up then I would go to your local running shop & get your gait analysed. Correct shoes make all the difference & prevent a lot of injuries. Look after your feet & the rest of your running will come good in time- Mike Dunning
- Register online, don't forget your barcode and let someone know it's your first time or, if you can, go with a friend. Don't worry about being last - it's not a race and the tail-runner is always the slowest - Sue Porter
- It's got to be enjoyable, don't go off too fast, keep a nice steady pace, control your breathing. If it all feels a bit too much have a little walk, it's your parkrun take your time and build on it every week. Keep running and practice - Sandra Reed
- Run like a child. Enjoy it, have fun, take time to see what's going on around you, don't give a monkeys what other people might say or think, just run (or jog or even walk, but don't stop x) - Lisa Kay Hallam
- Live in the bubble, YOUR bubble; it's your run, you are running for you. Focus on where you are, what you are doing. Never mind what is happening around you, the point in the distance (it will still be there when you get there). Above all, enjoy - Tony Barclay
- As a Physiotherapist my advice would be to warm up correctly, prepare your body well by avoiding static stretches, make them dynamic, stay well hydrated and most importantly enjoy yourself. If you enjoy it you a most likely going to do it again - David Bracken
- Prepare, train, but above all, enjoy! Remember, you are joining a cast of thousands of wonderful like-minded people who are having a go. There are still millions who won't even try. Be proud of yourself, if your slow or fast or somewhere in between, you will have still been fantastic! - Tim Gould
Don't let your nerves get to you. Once you start, there's no stopping you. Even if you go slow at first, you're moving forward. It never gets easier, you just get stronger - Kelly Louise Beardsmore
- Believe in yourself, and remember... The negativity is in your head. It took me ages to work that out - Suzy Burnley
- Remember that we all started at the beginning and somehow got the the end our first time - so we'll all know how you feel and want you to succeed - Rachel Anderson
What have we missed? Let us know in the comments if you have your own advice to share - we'd love to hear it