Running is probably the most popular form of exercise and is a great place to start if you’re looking to get fit. It requires minimal training, can be performed almost anywhere and you don’t need to shell out on expensive equipment to do it.

If you’re interested in starting to run, we’ve put together a few tips to help you get the most out of it.

Shoes

You are going to need at least one piece of equipment, namely running shoes. You could opt for cheap shoes and hope they do the trick, but that is not advisable as they could cause injury. The best advice is to visit a running store to find out your foot type and running style. You can then select a shoe that’s designed for you. Shoes should be replaced after every 300-400 miles of running.

Warming up and cooling off

You need to let your body know that you’re going to be putting it through its paces soon and you can do that by warming up. Slowly raise your heart rate with a brisk walk and then bring yourself up to a running pace. Once you’re done, you need to bring your heart rate and blood pressure down gradually – end your run with a 5-minute walk.

Focus on rhythm rather than pace

A common mistake made by beginners is to concentrate too much on pace. Rather than worrying about miles per minute, you should focus on achieving a steady rhythm. If, for example, you can breathe comfortably and talk whilst running, you’re running at the right pace.

The advantage of starting out like this is that you won’t overdo things and risk causing yourself an injury.

Try to make it fun

You’ve probably started running to achieve a particular goal, but if you’re not enjoying it, you may never achieve your objective. To guard against this, try to find ways to make running fun, eg by inviting friends along or by creating a playlist full of upbeat running tracks. Running can be fun, provided you make the effort.

Try the walk/run technique

The walk/run technique is a simple one and is great for those who are just starting out and have little endurance. Run for a short time, walk for a short time and continue to alternate the two. As the days and weeks progress, aim to increase the amount of time you’re spending running. Eventually, you’ll find you can run the whole route comfortably!