CommunityFitnessFive ways to get into running as a beginner

There's always a first time.
Ashleigh Stewart Ashleigh StewartSeptember 12, 20187 min
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running beginnerPhoto courtesy Unsplash
As the temperatures drop, the boardwalks of the UAE will slowly start to fill with runners and joggers of all calibers once more. However, you might also be new to running beginner, and this might be the season you’ve decided to finally give it a go. While it’s hard to know where to start, here’s a few ideas to help you hit the pavement with ease.
Grab a friend
There’s no better motivation than a face at your door bright and early, or a few nagging texts willing you out of bed. Taking a training partner along with you for your first few laps around your neighborhood will shake off any nervousness, and help you keep your mind off the job at hand. Soon, you’ll be jogging along while discussing the merit’s of the latest TV show you’ve just become addicted to, and you’ll forget you’re even exercising at all.
Get your gear sorted
Having the right pair of sneakers can be the difference between a great run, and a run where you come home wincing and bleeding. Find a shoe that’s a good fit for you and that you feel comfortable in; don’t be swayed by brand names or the latest must-have sneaker. Go shopping and try on plenty, and walk around for a bit to see what feels good on you. At the end of the day, it’s you that’s going to be wearing these for long periods, and you are the one who has to be comfortable. In terms of clothing, it’s a pretty simple formula. Choose a lightweight material that breathes on top and bottom. If you’re female, make sure you’ve got a supportive sports bra that doesn’t chafe. And hey presto, you’re good to go!
The run-walk method
Chances are, if this is your first time getting up to anything above a brisk walk, you’re going to need to take it easy. Contrary to what you’re probably thinking, this method isn’t about running until you’re puffing and then start to walk. It means running for a set period and then walking when you’re not tired. For beginners, this means running for between 10 to 30 seconds, and then walking for one to two minutes, and repeating for the duration of your run. Even seasoned long-distance runners use this method sometimes as a way to make race training less gruelling and to avoid injury.
Join a running club

For beginners, there’s a running club for every age and ability in Dubai, and Abu Dhabi boasts one of the oldest such clubs in the UAE. Each one is designed to help you with your goal in a social setting. In Dubai, a lot of the major sportswear brands also have running clubs. Adidas Runners, for instance, offer a weekly schedule of interval training, distance runs, female-only runs and even destination events. If you’re serious about endurance, Super Sports ABRaS Athletics are serious about their running. This club features many of the UAE’s best runners. If scenery is important to you, the Dubai Creek Striders offer specially-chosen routes that take in some of Dubai’s best sights.In Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Striders was first established in 1984. Each week, with sessions from 4.30am to 6.30pm, you’ll get to take in some of the capital’s best-known landmarks, like Saadiyat Beach, Al Bateen and Yas Island.

Pick a race and training plan
If you need more of a concrete date locked in to get you motivated, why not pick one of the events on the UAE running schedule? That way, you’ve got a set amount of time to achieve your goal. In the cooler months, the UAE running agenda is full to bursting with running races from shorter fun runs to the various half marathons and full marathons. The internet is awash with training plans that will get you from beginner to race completer, but you can also ask a professional.
Ashleigh Stewart

Ashleigh Stewart

Ashleigh Stewart is a New Zealand journalist, who has spent much of her career on the health beat, focusing most recently on mental health and wellbeing. She has worked in Japan, Indonesia, America, and has spent the last two years in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. She's also an avid outdoorswoman and runner, having completed her first marathon in Dubai in 2017.