Getting Active

Running & Jogging

Running is fantastic exercise, and you don’t need much kit to get you started. A well-fitting pair of trainers and some comfortable clothes are all that is required to take part. You can choose to run alone, or team up with a friend for moral support.

Running regularly can reduce your risk of long-term illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes, build strong bones and help keep your weight under control. It can also boost your mood, and is excellent way to relieve stress. 

Getting Started

If you’re new to running, or coming back to it after a break, the key thing to remember is start gradually and build up slowly. If you haven’t done any exercise for a while, you might want to build up your fitness levels through walking first. Make sure you also take time to do a 5 minute warm up before you run, and a post run stretch.

Find more advice for getting started below

Tips & Advice

Take a look at some of our top tips below, and follow the links for more advice for beginners.

Top Tips

  • Use the Coach to 5K running app – to help you build up from nothing to being able to run 5k over the course of several weeks.
  • Find a running buddy – teaming up with someone who’s the same level as you can really help motivate you and spur you on to keep going.
  • Plan your route. Whether you want to head straight out of the front door, or would prefer to run in a local park, it’s good to plan a suitable length route before you head off. 
  • Join a club – Find a local beginner friendly group or a running club to support you. Have a look on our Activity Finder to search for a suitable group near you.
  • Set yourself a goal – It doesn’t matter how fast you are, or how far you go, but setting yourself personal goals and keeping track of how much you are improving can really help to keep you motivated!
  • Try your local parkrun – these free weekly 5K events are open to all, whether you want to walk, jog or run.

For more tips and advice for beginners visit the Run Together website

Couch to 5K

One of the biggest challenges a novice runner faces is not knowing how or where to begin. Often when trying to get into exercise, you can overdo it, feel defeated and give up when you’re just getting started.

Couch to 5k is a simple running plan for beginners, that is designed to help you build your way up from nothing, to being able to run 5km over the course of several weeks.

You can download a weekly podcast, or get the full programme as the One You Couch to 5k app, and a virtual coach will guide you through the 9-week programme. 

Read more about the programme

Parkruns

Parkruns are free, weekly, community events which take place all around the world. Saturday morning events are 5k and take place in parks and open spaces. On Sunday mornings, there are 2k junior parkruns for children aged four to 14. 

parkrun is a positive, welcoming and inclusive experience where there is no time limit and no one finishes last. You don’t have to run, you can jog, walk, or even just go along to cheer everyone along.