A Few Running Tips For Normal People
The couple behind chic sportswear brand Iffley Road give their expert tips on taking running in your stride.
Are you someone who feels rather bemused when your friends start talking about their “PB” or “5k” time, or blithely tells you how many “fartleks” they’re going to work into their pre-work half marathon next week? Do you find yourself continually overtaken by joggers as you walk home from dinner, and thinking “why on earth are they doing this to themselves?” If so, take heart – you are not alone, despite how it may appear from all the #fitspo and #cardio posts you might see on social media. In truth, nobody is born with an in-built ability to get up at the crack of dawn and blithely bound off into the distance at maximum-heart-rate speeds; nor does everyone (particularly those who have things like families and jobs) want to structure their whole day around running 20 laps round the local park.
However, believe it or not, running can be a thoroughly pleasurable hobby, even if you’re not beating everyone you know on the Nike+ app. And the benefits of running regularly go beyond simply burning calories: according to a 2015 article in The Telegraph, running regularly can also help us to be more intelligent, more fertile, and, ultimately happier. Which of course sounds simply wonderful. The key question is: how do you get going in the first place? For a bit of guidance in this direction, MR PORTER thought it apt to consult Ms Claire Kent and Mr Bill Byrne, the husband-and-wife team behind the admirably understated British running brand Iffley Road. A pair of committed running enthusiasts themselves, Ms Kent and Mr Byrne launched Iffley Road with the aim of providing running kit that combines optimum performance with a healthy dollop of style, resulting in a collection that’s admirably sleek and understated (especially in comparison to some of the in-your-face Day-Glo options available elsewhere). Their top tips for the beginner runner are as follows:
Build Up Your Distance Slowly
The best way to get into running is to increase your distance gradually. Start with however far you can manage, even if it’s only the result of five minutes exercise, and add no more than 10 per cent each week. A combination of running and walking is fine at first. Don’t worry about pace – speed will improve naturally as your body acclimatises to running more. If you build up too quickly, you’re bound to get injured and/or feel demotivated.
Find A Running Buddy
Running is much more fun with someone else, be it human or canine. Find a friend who is also starting out and plan to run together at least once a week. Or join a running club – there are thousands across the country. You will find that most running clubs have a beginners’ group. If you have a dog, there is no better company. Though, if you do decide to go down this route, it’s worth purchasing a proper running harness to put around your waist, so that your hands are left free.
Vary Your Run
There’s nothing more inspiring than running in wonderful surroundings. Leave the watch/Garmin/heart-monitor at home and simply enjoy putting one foot in front of the other. While running in great surroundings may not be possible during the working week, it’s really worth the trip to get out to the country or seaside at the weekend. Recent studies, including a 2011 review by the University of Exeter, show that running outside has a more beneficial effect on your mood than running on a treadmill. A run along the beach or through the forest will refresh both your mind and soul.