If the only time you break into a jog is as the bus pulls up when you're late for work, or you think trainers are just a comfy alternative to heels, you probably don’t think running is for you. But anyone can be a runner – there’s a faster you just waiting to get, set, go...

Wherever you look these days, you’ll see a runner, pounding the roadside. It’s the sport of the moment, making us aspire to be hip and healthy, but for many of us who have watched marathons in awe, running still seems out of reach. Yet, according to England Athletics, there are more than 2.4 million of us taking part in weekly athletic activities such as running and with the help of campaigns such as This Girl Can and the NHS’ Couch to 5K (C25K) this is steadily increasing.

It is a fallacy that a runner is a certain type of person, and blogger Julie Creffield of toofattorun.co.uk – The Fat Girls’ Guide to Running is out to prove the point. She and an army of plus-size women (as she describes them on her website) probably don’t fit the preconceived physical description of a runner but share a passion for the sport and are (whatever their shape or size) athletes in their own right. She rejects the idea that there is one type of runner, encouraging anyone to get out there and have a go. It’s a philosophy that Jason and the Juice Master team believe in too, encouraging everyone to make a start on improving their fitness and health.

Setting out from a standing start can be daunting, whether you’ve previously been a runner or are a jogging virgin. C25K (www.C25K.com) is a fantastic programme aimed at anyone looking to take their first trainer-clad steps to fitness. Designed to take you from a fairly sedentary lifestyle to running for 30 minutes, non-stop, in just nine weeks, it follows the walk/run method, building up both the distance and seconds you spend running over the course of the plan.

Good for your physical and mental wellbeing, running can lower the risk of serious illnesses such as heart disease. The benefits of regular aerobic exercise to help relieve stress and positively boost our mood as our bodies release endorphins has been well-documented. Some runners even claim the feeling is addictive! Why not see for yourself what running can do for you? Take your first steps today…

Juicy Tips For Running Newbies

Before You Start

Running is a relatively inexpensive sport, but if there is one thing worth investing in it’s proper footwear. Specialist running shops will assess your style on a treadmill and match you with a suitable shoe.

Set A Goal

Having something to aim for is a brilliant way to stay motivated and give you a reason to improve. Start with a 5k fun run (www.parkrun.org.uk) where there isn’t the pressure of a formal race, but enough of a challenge to make you train.

Get Support

A running buddy can be great motivation and help keep you focused as you spur each other on. If you don’t have anyone to run with, find a local club that suits your needs – most will have sessions designed for new runners. If you would prefer to run alone, download an app such as C25K to use as your virtual coach.

Build Up Slowly

The key thing to remember is that it’s not a race. Well, it might be one day but for now you’re training your body to a new way of working. Always take time to warm up and down properly – it’s the most crucial part of your run. Slowly building up muscle and stamina will not only be better for your health but also give you a more holistic approach to your end goal.

Stay Motivated

Try keeping a running diary or blogging about your experience to keep your mind on track – 20 per cent of London Marathon runners kept a blog this year. As hard as it can seem to muster the enthusiasm for a run when the evening’s dull and damp or the telly schedule looks appealing, make the effort and you will be glad you did.

Stay Hydrated

We all know the importance of H2O during exercise; make sure you drink plenty of water to replace valuable hydration lost through perspiration. Now, go, go, go…

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