There’s no better place for running than in the woods.
Unlike running in streets, woods give you the feeling of getting away from it all. Other people quickly disappear from view as paths wind in and out of tall trees. The changing seasons and abundance of wildlife to spot means you’ll be running in different scenery every time you go out.
Running is good for you both physically and mentally. It increases fitness, helps with weight loss, improves the health of your bones, heart and lungs and also improves mood with all of the endorphins (feel good hormone) it releases. Many runners say they feel happier and less stressed than non runners.
Getting started is easy, just follow these simple steps...
Start slowlyIf you’re new to running and not feeling too confident why not go for a walk to plan out your route then build up from there.
Run at a pace you could comfortably hold a conversation at. You don’t need to run the whole distance at first, just run as far as you comfortably can and walk the rest.
Good running shoesA good pair of trainers which support your feet and are comfortable are the most important part of your running kit. If you don’t know what to go for ask your local sports shop.
Wear comfortable clothes
Many new runners go out and buy a full set of specialist kit before running but this isn't necessary. All you need is something loose and comfortable in a breathable fabric such as cotton.
Being properly hydrated helps you to run further. There's lots of different advice about how much water you should drink before and during running but the simplest advice is simply to drink when you're thirsty but not too much.
Drinking plenty of water during the day and not drinking too much caffeine will ensure you're properly hydrated when you run.
Warm up and down
Many people do a complicated series of stretches before and after running but it is usually better to warm up by starting with a brisk five minute walk and to slow down to a walk until you've recovered from your run at the end.
Run with a friend
Some people prefer to run with others as it helps to keep you motivated. Talking while running is a great way to pace yourself and take your mind off your effort. You could send this page to a friend as a kick-start.
Focus on your surroundings
If you are running alone you can help take your mind off the effort by focussing on your surroundings. Watch birds soar through the air or notice all the different trees around you.
Why not look at our top spots and see which ones you can see on your run? Your nature spotting knowledge will improve with your fitness.
Be sure you check out the following useful links.
NHS couch to 5k
Useful hints and tips for new runners and also stories from other new runners.
50 of the best tips for beginners from their forums.
A simple guide to picking the right running shoes for you.