The New Runner’s Commandments


So That’s That 

We’re now firmly into the new year, with Christmas now a distant memory. It officially Tisn’t the season any more.

The haze of prosecco, truffles and crap films should have now lifted, leaving nothing but the realisation that now it’s just you and your new years resolutions.

“Exercise more” is probably the most common resolution out there, and as you can run pretty much anywhere, at any time, with no monthly subscription cost, running is a top contender for those looking to follow through on their new year promises.

Whether you’ve got your sights set on a C25K plan, or you’re going to aim big and run a half marathon/marathon this year there’s some things that as a new runner you should keep in mind…

Your Pace Is Great, In Fact, It’s Probably Too Fast

The thing that most new runners do is worry about their pace and feel like they’re too slow. Because of this they believe every run has to be a lung busting personal best, and anything short of this is a failure. This really isn’t the case.

Speedwork is good and all, but when you’re starting out aim to run at a level where you can still hold a conversation. It will help in the long term and you might enjoy it a bit more because it will limit the amount of time you feel like you’re going to be sick and pass out.

#NoDaysOff #SomeDaysOff

“Oh you’ve got to run every day, otherwise you won’t see the benefits. Long day at work? Crap excuse, run. Hungover? Don’t care, run! Two broken legs and a concussion? Run it off slugger.”

Balls to that tripe. Yeah sure, some people do run every day but there’s no correlation in the number of times you run and the amount you enjoy it.

If you’re a new runner but don’t feel like running for a few days then don’t, no feeling bad necessary. Just get out there when you can and focus on finding the things you enjoy about running, then do them as many times as possible. That’s the best way to turn the resolution into an enjoyable life change.

Don’t Believe The Hype (Don’t, Don’t, Don’t, Don’t Believe The Hype)

In the beginning there was data. This data then got turned into information. This information was then folded, twisted and mashed into something bordering complete nonsense that at best is useless and at worst is dangerous.

We see it everywhere, and running is no exception. Try not to get dragged into fad training programmes, “new” running styles and almost all detoxes. If you’re looking to up your game then do your research, do it twice, and decide based on a full body of facts. Until then though, just get used to being out there, on your feet and moving.

In The immortal words of Public Enemy: don’t believe the hype.

Wave, Say Hi, and Thanks

You’ll cross paths with quite a few runners, dog walkers, hikers etc. on your travels. Don’t be afraid to say hello, it’s not a bad thing (especially looking at you here, London). Even if you’re absolutely knackered and out of breath, try to muster a bit of a wave. You might not get one back, but that’s on them.

If you’re at an organised event, whether it’s a park run, local 10K or a big national event, try to remember to say thanks to the marshals and volunteers as you go past as well. They’re the reason you’re able to be on that run, so we firmly believe a little recognition is needed, it’s the decent thing to do. Speaking of the decent thing to do…

Don’t Be A Tosser

You’ve read this far, so you’re clearly not a tosser, but it’s an important point to keep in the back of your mind.

You can see it all around you. People who feel like the time they get on their run-commute is more important than being a reasonable human being. Don’t be one of these people.

It costs literally £0 to remember that pedestrians have just as much right to the pavement as you, that although a car should stop at a zebra crossing for you it hasn’t necessarily seen you, and to look around you before you fire that snot rocket.

Nothing Compares 2 You

The downfall of everyone at least once in their life is the comparison of themselves to another person in a totally different life space to them. Whether it be comparing our bank balance to a professional footballer’s, our bodies to professional models, or our running performance to near on professional runners.

In the running community you will be surrounded by IG posts, FB updates, Strava notifications all seemingly telling you about people who can run, faster, further and easier than you.

If you want, use this as inspiration, something you can one day attain. Don’t look at these people and think you’re shite because you’re not as good as them, it doesn’t work like that. If you enjoy it, do it. The progress will come.


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