We’re now entering the 8th week of lockdown in the UK. The streets are still mostly empty but one sight that has become a lot more familiar is seeing runners of all shapes and sizes pounding the pavement.

In the absence of gyms, Sunday league, five-a-side and all other forms of team sport we’ve had to find more solitary methods of keeping fit. It’s fair to say that sweating it out in your living room with Joe Wicks isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. So thousands up and down the country have decided to hit the streets and combine their daily exercise with taking in some fresh air.

Even as lockdown begins to loosen, it’s thought that gyms and team sports at an amateur level are still quite far off from being reintroduced. So for those of you who haven’t dusted off the running shoes just yet we’ve come up with a list of tips for getting started!

1. Just go for it! 💨

We know that getting started with any new form of exercise can be a bit daunting and running is no different. But the truth is, it really shouldn’t be! It’s very easy to put off starting running to the next day, and then the next day. Then before you know it, it’s three weeks later and you’re still sat on the sofa…

Just get out there! The best thing about running is it’s free, you can do it pretty much anywhere, anytime and you don’t have to rely on anyone else to do it. You don’t need to sign up to Strava, you don’t need to wait for the weather to improve and you don’t need a brand new expensive pair of trainers.

As long as you’re able bodied, then the only thing stopping you is yourself! There are few easier ways to lose weight and improve your fitness. It can also have a hugely positive effect on your mental health, something that shouldn’t be underestimated at this time.

You might only last ten minutes or less. That’s fine! It gives you a target to beat next time and get’s you on the road to building it into your routine. You never know, you might even start to find it enjoyable! Especially at the moment when our time outside is limited.

2. Embrace the "Run/Walk Method" 🏃‍♂️🚶‍♂️

Lots of brand new runners, especially those who have never played sport can struggle to run without stopping for a prolonged period of time. There’s no shame in that. You’re not going to be Mo Farah the first time you get out there. It can be a while until you find a pace that you are comfortable with.

If this sounds like you, then give the run-walk method a go. Build yourself up slowly and before long you’ll find yourself able run for longer and having to walk less. Then, when you’re ready, you won’t need to walk at all!

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3. Set achievable targets 🎯

Lots of people start running for a few weeks and before long get bored. It can be easy to lose motivation without having something to work towards. This is a largely solitary form of exercise where you don’t often have team mates or friends pushing you on.

To keep yourself going, set yourself achievable targets. This can be duration based, time based or just aiming for a certain number of runs a week. When you start smashing those targets, you’ll soon grow to love that feeling. Once you’ve beaten a target, set another one and another one, and so on!

4. Try different routes 🗺

Another way to stave off the boredom is to keep your route fresh. Having a set route that you can run with your eyes closed is great and really helpful when it comes to timing yourself and tracking your improvements, but it is important to mix it up every now and again.

This might be a little bit harder at the moment whilst we are limited to where we can go to exercise. If you are limited in this way, then even something as simple as running the same route in the opposite direction can be enough to make it feel fresh.

Jump on to Google Maps and have a look around your local area to set out and plan new routes. You might even discover new green spaces or beauty spots you didn’t know existed. Running is a great way to get out and explore.

5. Don't beat yourself up 🤗

We’ve already mentioned about giving yourself targets and the feeling of accomplishment when you hit them. However, it is equally important not to beat yourself up when you don’t. You’re not going to be running marathons, 10ks or even 5ks straight away. Rome wasn’t built in a day!

You might find that your progress isn’t as quick as you hoped it would be. It’s important not to get too hung up on that. Persevere, take it at your own pace and eventually things will start to click for you. The most important thing is that you are getting out there, burning calories and most of all enjoying yourself. As long as you stick at it, the rest will come with time.

6. Get the right gear 🎽👟

It’s important to reiterate that there are no barriers to getting started with running. You don’t need to be kitted out in the best gear to take that first step. Old footy shirts and scruffy worn out trainers are okay if that’s all you’ve got. But, having the right kit can help, especially the further down the track you get on your journey.

After all, if your trainers are uncomfortable and your clothing chafes, then you are less likely to want to get out there and run again…

There’s no need to break the bank to get kitted out though, we’ve carefully curated a collection of running products for both men and women with big discounts on brands such as Nike and adidas. Click here to find all you need to get going.

Plus, for a limited time we’re offering a £5.00 Kitlocker.com voucher for anyone who snaps themselves in our Kitlocker RUN Tee and tags us!

7. Listen to music 🎧

It doesn’t work for everyone but there’s no doubt that music can have a powerful effect on performance whatever you’re doing. Whether it’s running, doing housework or even studying. It helps you find and keep rhythm, whilst also lessening your fatigue awareness.

Most people go for high tempo tunes that fit with their running style and rhythm but it’s just a case of whatever works for you. If James Blunt gets your blood pumping and keeps you motivated then you’re probably a bit weird, but go for it.

Having your iPhone bouncing around in your pocket isn’t ideal, especially if it goes flying into a ditch. Check out this running arm wallet which will keep your valuables safe and sound.

8. Don't go it alone 🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️

A great way to keep your interest up is by joining some form of community. Running clubs might seem a bit intimidating at first (they aren’t, most cater for entry level runners) but there are plenty of other options. There will be once lockdown is lifted anyway…

It’s definitely worth checking out your local Park Run. A national institution amongst runners, Park Run is a free timed 5k which takes place every weekend at hundreds of locations up and down the country. The magic of Park Run is that all abilities are welcome, whether you walk the whole thing or smash it in sub-17 minutes. The timed element is a great way to keep track of your progress and gives you something to work towards every week. Chances are, you won’t be the slowest person there, and even if you are, you’ll be supported every step of the way. It’s a brilliant place to meet other runners who might be at the same stage of their running journey as you are.

It goes without saying that Park Run is suspended right now for obvious reasons. In that case why not take that first step with someone else from your household? Running with a partner provides you both with valuable encouragement and motivation, especially on those days where you don’t really feel like it.

female running

So what are you waiting for?! ⏱

If you are considering taking up running to keep yourself fit during lockdown and beyond, then hopefully our simple tips will give you some inspiration to get out there. With the roads a little quieter and more time on most of our hands there’s no better time to start than now.

And don’t forget, if you’re short of running attire, we’ve got everything you need. Products from Nike, adidas and more which are all perfect for taking your first few steps into the world of running!

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