• Helen Phillips

I Can Do This! 6 Tricks for More Confident Running


If you've just started out running or about to start, getting out of the front door can feel daunting. Our head plays mind games. Unsure where to start, nervousness and procrastination takes hold. But don't let these doubts win. Follow these 6 Tricks for more Confident Running.

1. Invest in the right kit

When you start out running all you really need is a well fitting pair of running shoes (get them fitted at a specialist running shop, rather than buying a cut priced trainer from a discount store) and if you're a woman invest in a good, appropriately supportive sports bra.

It's also a good idea to seek out 'technical' sports clothing. This makes running a much easier, as sweat from running is wicked away from your body by the fibres.

If you look good, you'll feel good! Don't be afraid of being 'all the gear, no idea', you'll soon be up, out and running!

2. Don't worry about what people think

We all start somewhere! Don't be embarrassed to jog or shuffle along at your own pace. Good speedy runners generally respect everyone who runs, you're joining their tribe! As the pass you running in the park they're likely to be thinking "good for you for getting out" and be fully supportive of your efforts.

You're also lapping everyone on the couch. So don't be put off by anyone who 'channel surfs' for exercise!

And when the occasional 'white van man' honks his horn or shouts out a remark, my strategy is to smile, run tall and strong, and ignore them.

Don't let the idiots of the world put you off. You're health and fitness is worth more than that!

3. Run at your own pace

The biggest mistake new runners make is trying to run too fast, to soon, and then give up for good after 5 or 10 minutes.

It's much better to start wth a run (jog or shuffle) then walk strategy. Run for 1 - 2 minutes, then take a 1 minute walk break. You'll build up your fitness and confidence a lot faster this way. Check out the C25K plan here. This running plan uses a run-walk strategy, is designed for new runners and is structured to get you up and running 5K in just 9 weeks.

There is no shame in building up your running with a run-walk strategy. I've used this a number of times to build up my strength after coming back from injury.

4. Run with a friend

It's so easy to 'put it off 'til tomorrow' when you start out. But running with a friend you're more likely to stick to your training plans, and motivate each other as the weeks progress.

Lots of running clubs host new runners couch to 5k programmes. Check them out. You'll be running with other beginners and making new friends.

Once you're up and running give Parkruns a try. They're held every Saturday in parks all over the UK and beyond. The Parkrun community is very inclusive and hugely of supportive. Find your local Parkrun and you'll soon be running regularly and progressing through the field. Whilst there are some very fast runners at some Parkruns, there are also some back marker walkers at most. So don't be put off if your time to run 5k is closer to 60 minutes than 15!

5. Enjoy yourself

As the weeks go by and running becomes easier, celebrate the joy of movement and making changes to your fitness, stamina and health. Enjoy the endorphin happy high from exercise, it really is an addictive drug!

Regular exercise does so much for your body from increased fitness, improved muscle tone, improved cardiovascular function and mental health.

Smile and enjoy ... the journey will be worth it!

If you're interested in learning more tips and advice for how to get into running, as a complete beginner, sign up for my FREE guide The Ultimate New to Running Guide.