Inspired to Run – Phillipa Sawtell

Last year, September 27th to be precise, I began to run. This was the start of my new adventure.

There was an amazing atmosphere. So many runners; young and old, scrambling past my flat in Cheltenham. It was the morning of the Cheltenham half marathon. Some were running solo, some with friends, some even dressed as penguins! Some had a personal goal, some were running for charities. But what was common was the huge sense of achievement (and relief) on finishing. There were huge smiles, and some tears. Rosy cheeks shone from that blast of fresh air and exhaustion.

I became inspired! I wanted to be one of those runners. Instantly my goal was to start running and to complete this race the following year. I’ll describe how I got on in my next blog.

So… Where to start?

Here are my quick tips on how to start running:

  • Like anything new, take little steps. You need to start very gently, and increase very gently. For me this was running for a minute, walking for a minute. If running is new for you, why not start with walking. Take a look at Jo’s great blog on walking.
  • Join a walking/running club. They will help you learn how to run safely and then build up your speed and distance and it’s a great way to meet new friends. If you live locally then you are lucky enough have access to Dursley Running Club, one of the friendliest and most inclusive groups you’re likely to find.
  • Take on the challenge with friends or family. It’s so much easier and more fun.
  • During these winter months, wear warm and reflective clothing. A head torch is a great idea.
  • The best thing about running is it’s free! It gets you outside grabbing a dose of vitamin D. You’ll feel great after wards with all the endorphins released. And it’s great for fitness.
  • Park runs. Try the free Saturday 9am park runs. Even if you just walk around to begin with, they are great way to get started and record your progress.
  • Wear comfortable shoes, comfort is more important than price.
  • Pilates gives great core strength and helps us move well which will improve your technique and times.
  • Set goals. Setting your goal is helpful to keep you motivated and focused. Start with a small goal. Training to run the parkrun non-stop is a great target. The sense of achievement and reward is a great feeling.
  • Remember to rest. Rest is an important part in training.

Whatever stage you are at in your running, I hope that these quick tips have helped you. Remember, whenever you feel aniggle, do come and see a Physiotherapist, better to get it treated before it becomes a serious or painful injury.

Hope you all enjoy your free endorphins!