On the back of the recent news of Healthy Ireland and the HSE funding Irelandâ€™s parkrun scheme to the tune of â‚¬100,000, there has never been a better time to get out, get fit and stay healthy â€“ without making a dent in your wallet. This funding will allow parkrun IrelandÂ to expand the popular initiative of free weekly 5k runs in public parks to a nationwide movement. The new partnership involves Healthy Ireland, Athletics Ireland, the Irish Sports Council and Phillip Lee. Check out their website for more info and to find your nearest parkrun.
We know that health and wellness is all about nutrition, movement and minding your mental health and running is a free way to take care of the movement aspect which is proven to have a positive impact on your mental health. Gym membership â€“ no thanks, no need! Not when you can leave your front door for thirty minutes and get some exercise for free.
Here are my tips to a successful running regime:
- Get the right gear â€“ You certainly need the right footwear, but as a beginner it doesnâ€™t need to break the bank. Go to a good sports shop and get them to talk you through the types of trainers that would be suited to you. Explain your budget and that youâ€™re a beginner. Once you start improving you will know yourself what you want from your trainer and will be more willing to invest a bit more too. Other than that you donâ€™t need high tech gear, just the right gear for the weather so you canâ€™t make any excuses! More of the bigger and better value stores are doing really good and affordable ranges of sportswear â€“ namely Penneyâ€™s, Dunnes Stores and Lidl. Once you start toning up you may want to splash out on fancy gear, but you really donâ€™t need to.
- Buddy up with a friend â€“ Itâ€™s much harder to avoid a run when you know your friend is waiting for you on a street corner. Itâ€™s a brilliant motivator and a great way to share the highs and lows of beginning your new healthy lifestyle endeavour.
- Start at the right pace â€“ use an app or get a good book â€“ If youâ€™re a novice, you donâ€™t want to go out and force yourself to run 5k flat and then collapse at the end of it never to step foot in your trainers again! Use an app if you need to figure out how to pace yourself. A lot of the â€˜Couch to 5kâ€™ apps out there pace going from nothing to being able to run 5k over 8 weeks and they do it gently from the outset. They are a brilliant way of doing it with a view to sustaining it as a new lifestyle step. Â An excellent book which works on intrinsic motivation is The Intrinsic Exerciser: Discovering the Joy of ExerciseÂ (this is my Amazon affiliate link). Â I can highly recommend it for seeking deeper motivation.
- Â Set realistic goals for yourself â€“ itâ€™s always good to work towards a goal, no matter how big or small, as long as itâ€™s realistic. So for your new experience in running, why not look up http://www.runireland.com/events to see where there are 5k runs either in your area, or somewhere down the country so you can have an excuse for a night away with your running friends. It can be social and fun and give you something to look forward to. Or you might be happy with the goal of reaching 5k at a solid jog and thatâ€™s good enough.
- Find a parkrun near you â€“ Now that youâ€™ve heard of parkrun, go check out their website and see where your nearest one is. They are free, weekly and community run. They are an amazing resource that we should all try to use and it sends such a positive message to family and friends who may also need some encouragement. Once you get in the swing of it, it takes 30 mins and youâ€™ve had a great workout in the wonderful outdoors for absolutely nothing!
What are you waiting for? Get those trainers on and start running!!