Walk before you can run

Jumping in at the deep-end is not for everyone, so before you start running, consider walking.  Public Health England's Active10 programme recommends a brisk walk of 10 minutes per day, which you could incorporate into your daily routine.

Take a look at the journeys you make in a typical day. Are any of them are less than a mile, but currently you travel by car or public transport? These would be ideal candidates, but you'll need to make sure you factor in a little bit more time as you won't be walking as fast as a car (except when they are stuck in a jam)! However, it may surprise you how much time is spent getting the car ready (particularly if it is cold and frosty) or waiting for public transport; you could be half way there already if you just walked out the door and down the street. Sometimes we think we need to take the car, such as for the weekly supermarket shop, because there is too much to carry. But maybe by switching to smaller, more frequent visits to the supermarket, you could do these on foot with a small backpack or wheeled bag.

At runningsofa, we are ultimately about running, so with that as your goal, you'll want to think about gradually building up the time you walk. Although replacing car journeys with walking is a good start, you may find you run out of suitable options or it just feels repetitive. In order to progress, consider joining a walking group in your area, attending a parkrun (where you are more than welcome to walk the course) or you could try Nordic Walking, which is a low-impact style of walking with poles. If you are interested in Nordic Walking, make sure that you sign up for a taster session or course with a instructor qualified by Nordic Walking UK, as there is a particular technique required to get the best from the poles; but don't worry, it's not overly complicated and they'll have you confidently striding out there in no time!

If you decide that you are ready to run, what should be your first steps?

  • Walk before you can run

    Jumping in at the deep-end is not for everyone, so before you start running, consider walking.

  • First steps to running

    Couch To 5K is possibly the most well known beginners running programme available. In 9 weeks, those of us who've done little more since school than try [often unsuccessfully] to run for a train, can be running for 5km or 30 minutes, three times a week.

  • Keeping off the sofa

    Completing the couch to 5k programme is a major achievement for any new runner, but what should you do next?