What’s something that Bondi Beach, New York City and the canals of London all have in common? They’re flooded with thousands of runners every day. Running would have to be one of the most popular forms of exercise in the world. It unites people across the globe, but for some, the thought of heading out on a 20km run sends shudders down their spine.
We’re taking a dose of inspiration from Under Armour Ambassador and ultra marathoner, Hannah Leonard, “What I love about running is its simplicity – all you need is a pair of shoes. For me, when it comes to running long distances, it’s about seeing how far I can push myself not just physically but mentally.”
To help get your love over the line here are a couple of our favourite tips:
1\ Start slow
Remember we’re in this for a marathon, not a sprint. To maintain longevity and avoid injury you’ll need to slow down the pace and start with bite-sized pieces. Overtraining is the most common cause of injury in runners. When you’re starting out set yourself a concrete running routine that will help you smash your goals and achieve success (link to the first article).
2\ Get the gear
One of the greatest things about running is that you don’t need an expensive gym membership, fancy equipment and an overly aggressive gym instructor but what you will need is a couple of the essentials. A good pair of running shoes will make or break your journey to love, there’s nothing romantic about aching knees, blisters and shin splints. There’s no one size fits all approach when it comes to getting the right shoe, we recommend the Under Armour HovrTM running range as there is something for every tread.
3\ Set yourself a goal
Like any hurdle in life, having a goal that you’re working towards is one of the most rewarding elements. Keep your motivation sky high and yourself accountable by tracking your runs through the MapMyRun app, you can track your progress, find new running routes in your area and watch your pace increase as you share your progress with your friends. Each time you hit a milestone reward yourself, it could be as simple as brunch at your fave cafe with your running bud or some new activewear.
4\ Make friends
Conning a friend to join you on your quest for love is easier said than done but not only will it hold you both accountable you’re more likely to enjoy yourselves. A recent study showed that those who smiled when running actually ran faster. Don’t be afraid to join your local park run or running group, no matter your pace or age. “Running has a huge community of like-minded people all working toward different goals – it’s rewarding to see people thrive through running,” adds Hannah.
5\ Give it time
You can’t go from zero to hero overnight. There’s no such thing as a bad run, sure you might have your off days and days when you feel like you’re running on clouds and could keep going forever. Soon enough you’ll have more good than bad, plus there’s no better feeling than the coveted runner’s high. Enjoy the journey (and the stiff legs) and don’t rush it.