Why run? Beginners tips to help motivate you


The gym may be out of bounds for now but that certainly doesn’t stop us being active. Whether you’re a seasoned runner or have never even considered taking the first stride, now is a great time to lace up your trainers, get some fresh air and try something new.

Sport Aberdeen created its first virtual running club as a means of supporting and motivating its members to stay active during this challenging time. We have had a brilliant uptake and are looking forward to more of you joining us!

If you’re not self-isolating or showing any symptoms of Coronavirus, governing bodies are encouraging us to keep healthy and active outside at this point. This should be done following social distancing guidelines closely for the safety of yourself and everyone around you. 

Our resident runner, Fearghas, has told us why we should run and provided some motivational tips for anyone starting out on their journey!  

Why run?

Good Question. The physical health benefits of running are well known and are often the motivation for people to start running. However, the mental health benefits are also extremely important. Exercising for as little as 30 minutes a day can help improve your mood, stress levels and quality of sleep, which in turn can lead to you having more energy throughout the day and give you a feeling of improved general wellbeing.

Getting started

Like anything, the first step is undoubtedly the hardest one. The first thing to do might not even be to run! Going out for a walk is the perfect introduction to running and it allows you to familiarise yourself with local routes and paths around your home. Being aware of your surroundings can also help you feel more relaxed when you do return for a short run. Try going for a 20-minute walk with five bouts of 60 second brisk walks or, if you feel up to it, a gentle jog.

Setting a routine

Setting aside dedicated time at the start of your week that you plan to go for your run can be key to get yourself into the mindset and motivated as the day draws closer. Lucky for you Sport Aberdeen has that covered. The Sport Aberdeen Virtual Running Club on Strava (https://www.strava.com/clubs/603414) have two scheduled runs each week from 5pm on Tuesdays and Thursday to keep you motivated.

Set yourself a goal

Big, small, mental, physical, short-term, long-term; a personal goal really can be based around absolutely anything. You may think of signing up for a local 10k or half marathon, however these goals may be common, but they are not for everyone. Keeping it simple can be the easiest and most sustainable way to keep things interesting and ensuring you enjoy running. How about an initial 20-minute run or walk twice a week for a start?

Feeling connected

This may sound like a bit of a ‘buzz word’ when talking about getting involved in something new but with regards to running it really can be a key factor in sticking it out. Running is one of the easiest forms of exercise that you can do by yourself without the need for expensive equipment or gym memberships. At the moment we may be limited to going for our daily exercise alone, however there are other ways to feel connected with others that are exercising. Joining a running community on apps such as Strava or Map My Run can allow you to share and discuss how you are getting on with others. Sport Aberdeen is encouraging everyone to post a running selfie, or a photo showing where you have chosen to exercise, using the hashtag #SArunclub.

Keep an eye out for more hints and tips that’ll help keep you motivated! If you have any questions relating to running or the Sport Aberdeen Running Club, please send them to SWebster@sportaberdeen.co.uk

Now all you have to do is tie your laces. Happy running!

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