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Choice to walk, jog or run

With the popular weekly parkrun paused around the globe, many are now faced with the decision whether to go for a walk, jog or run on their own.

Veteran champion South African long-distance runner, and parkrunner, Bruce Fordyce has compiled some tips for parkrunners and non-parkrunners who want to get fit and get rid of lockdown love handles.

He put four simple tips together to help people along the way.

1. Start small and be kind to yourself.

If people have never done the 5 km distance on their own they should start small. Not completing a whole 5 km is okay. If one is just starting out 5 km can feel like a marathon.

They should try a shorter distance, slower pace, or just set some time aside to be outside if they can. If they can’t get outside climbing the stairs or doing laps of the front room are all good foundations to build fitness on too.

Why not try a brisk walk to the local park, or go for a gentle walk and occasionally try to jog the distance between two lamp posts.

Parkrun is a place where everyone can walk, jog or run at their own pace, and going it alone is no different.

People should be kind to themselves. The fact that they have given it a go and simply moved their body is what really matters.

2. Make yourself comfortable

People don’t have to buy a lot of expensive gear to be prepared for a walk, jog or run. It’s easy to spend hours browsing kits and getting confused by all the options.

When starting out, anything one is most comfortable in is totally fine. People must remember to dress for the weather too. A playlist of one’s favourite songs can also help get one motivated. Or, why not use the time to tune in to a new podcast, or listen to an audiobook.

Start with a nice slow walk, or gentle jog, to help get one’s body ready to be more active.

3. Plan

You may be wondering how to plan for a walk, jog or run when you’ve never done one alone before. Why not integrate it into a daily task? If heading down the road to the corner shop, try walking a bit more quickly or jogging some of the distance.

Perhaps when going for daily walks with family, people could try challenging one another to speed-walk to a nearby lamp post. Building activity into a usual routine adds familiarity, which can help keep fears at bay.

There are many online route planners available if one is ready to try something a little further. Walking a route one plans to jog or run later on one’s running journey can help build confidence.

4. Tell somebody

Just because one is planning to walk, jog or run on one’s own doesn’t mean one cannot have the support of family and friends. Tell someone close about the walking or running journey. They’ll be able to cheer one on virtually and maybe even join in while respecting the current social distancing guidelines. It’s great celebrating one’s achievements with someone.

Everyone else has been on a journey of their own, and a friend may be able to give some tips too. Even just moving one’s body for a minute can have benefits to one’s health and well-being. Although trying something new may be daunting one should remember everyone was a beginner once.

Focus on taking that first important step, and one never knows where that path may lead!

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