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Running for beginners

Taking up running? We’ll help you get off to a great running start.

Woman running outside in cold weather with a long sleeve top, leggings and running gloves on.

Running tips and benefits

If you're looking for running tips, need running gear or just want some inspiration, we can help kick start your fitness journey.

Man running alongside the ocean.

Health benefits of running

Running has significant physical and mental health benefits.

  • Improves cardiovascular fitness.
  • Strengthens joints.
  • Releases endorphins to boost your mood and relieve stress.
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Helps you to maintain a healthy weight.
Woman running at a gentle pace outside.

Running tips

  • Find a pace natural to you and don't overdo it. Build up your fitness levels gradually. Speak to your GP if you have any concerns about starting.
  • If you've never run before, then start by alternating between walking and running.
  • Leave at least a day between outings to allow your body to recover.
  • Focus on your breathing to avoid stitches and improve your performance. Most runners breathe through both their nose and mouth.
  • Avoid eating 1.5-2 hours before running.
Man stretching inside before a run.

Warm-up, cool down

It's vital to warm up before a workout. Start with a gentle warm-up of about 5-10 minutes before each run. Afterwards, be sure to cool down properly. Bring your pace down gradually. Gentle stretches will also avoid tight muscles. When stretching, make sure to hold each stretch for 15 seconds to really get the benefit.

A man checking his running watch.

Motivation for runners

  • Plan which days you'll run. If you get into a routine, you are more likely to stick with it.
  • Track your runs. Seeing the progress that you're making will encourage you to carry on.
  • Try to run with a friend for support and encouragement.
  • Variety really is the spice of life - change up your route to keep things interesting. Try lakes and national parks you've never visited before.
Man running outside with headphones in and a fitness tracker on his wrist.

Running gear

Invest in some good quality running shoes and workout gear. Headphones are great for listening to playlists and podcasts as you run. Consider a fitness tracker to monitor your progress. Phone holders and running belts are also handy to keep keys and mobiles on you as you run

A man and woman high fiving to celebrate the end of a run.

Couch to 5K

If you're looking for a fitness plan, couch to 5K is a fantastic way to build up your running ability. The program lasts for six weeks and gradually improves your fitness levels. By the end, you should be able to run 5K (3.1 miles) without stopping. Give it a go!

A group of people running together in a club

Running clubs

Once you feel more confident (and Coronavirus restrictions have been lifted) why not join a running club? Fun, friendly and supportive, they help to keep you motivated. You can make new friends too!

Running in warm weather

A man running outside in a long sleeve grey top and green shorts.

Running gear

If you’re running in hot weather, wear light, loose clothing. Dark colours will absorb the sun’s heat - you don't want that! Wear a visor and sunglasses to help block out the sun’s harmful rays. Remember to apply a high factor sun cream before you leave the house.

A woman drinking from a clear water bottle after finishing a workout.

Stay hydrated

Make sure you’re drinking enough water. When it’s really hot, splash water on your head and body to cool you down quickly. Check out our how to stay hydrated page for more handy tips. If you're going for a long run, sports drinks are great for replacing lost salts and electrolytes.

A man running outside in sunny weather with a blue vest and black shorts on.

Tips for warm weather running

Don’t run at the hottest part of the day. Instead, try to go early in the morning or in the evening once it's cooled down. Seek out shady spots as you run. Remember not to push your pace on hot days. You need to slow down and adjust for the heat and humidity.

A woman running inside on a treadmill.

Hit the treadmill

If it’s raining or just too hot outside, don’t be put off. To keep your fitness goals on track, a treadmill makes a great alternative. They also have cushioned surfaces, so the risk of injury is less compared to running outside.

Running equipment top picks

Why buy at Argos?