Top running tips for beginners: advice to get into running

Ready to meet your new favourite workout?

Woman stretching after a run

by Georgina Finegan |
Updated on

We all know running is one of the cheapest forms of exercise, but if you’ve never run before or have had a long break, the prospect can be terrifying. Here, Closer’s Features Editor Georgina Finegan - who began running again after a three-year break - shares her tips to get back into it.

She says: "Having run regularly for years and even completed the London Marathon in 2008 in 3 hours 49min, I decided to challenge myself to a half marathon in four months time. I chose the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon(13.1 miles) because the route goes through four of the capital’s best open spaces – Hyde Park, Green Park, St James’ Park and Kensington Gardens.

"Setting myself a realistic goal of two hours, I decided to follow a 12-week training plan by veteran US runner Hal Higdon because it seemed doable with a full-time job and a two-year old.

"I was nervous about my first run (just a mile) but it was AMAZING. I went very slowly but the endorphins literally flooded my brain within minutes. I spent a month extending the length of my run by just a mile at a time until I was comfortably running five miles. That gave me the confidence to start my training schedule. The first week consisted of three mid-week runs of three runs and a four mile run at the weekend."

Woman taking a break on a winter run
©Photo: Getty Images

Georgina adds: "The mid-week runs are never longer than five miles which meant I was able to do them before work. And the longer runs at the weekend built up slowly to a 12 mile run a week before race day. There’s something very therapeutic about turning your music on and heading out on your own for a good hour or so – especially if the sun’s shining!

"So now I’m just four weeks away from the half marathon and I’m actually feeling quite confident. My pace is a bit slower but that’s something I could work on in the future with interval training.

"I decided to raise money for a small animal charity, Caring For Animals, but I have to confess the training has all been about me. I can honestly say I feel stronger and more energised than I have in years. So whether you’ve had a long break from running like me or you’ve never even run to catch a bus there’s never been a better time to pull on your trainers and hit the road.”

Our top running essentials

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Running trainers

It’s ridiculously important to run in trainers made for running (never, repeat never, attempt to run in a pair of lace up pumps). Head to your nearest running shop for a free gait analysis to find out which trainers are best for you.

Saucony Triump Trainers

SHOP IT: Saucony Women's Triumph ISO 2 Running Shoes, from £44.99,

Sports bra

Even if you’re fashionably small-chested, you still need to wear a well-fitting supportive running bra.

Woman wearing Shock Absorber Sports Bra

SHOP IT: Shock Absorber Classic Sports Bra, from £4.99,

Bright running kit

Not just because it looks good, but if you’re running in bad light it’s important to be seen.

FITTOO Women's Leggings

SHOP IT: FITTOO Women's Leggings, £9.97,

Then, try these, not technically essential items, but once you try them, you'll never look back!

Running watches

If you’re keen to speed up, running watches are great for tracking your pace.

Fitbit Charge 3 Advanced Fitness Tracker

SHOP IT: Fitbit Charge 3 Advanced Fitness Tracker, £99.99,

Sports headphones

Most people love listening to music while training, but there’s nothing more annoying than headphones that won’t stay in your ears.

Powerbeats3 Wireless Headphones

SHOP IT: Powerbeats3 Wireless Earphones, £79,

Running pants

Yes, that’s right. They’re a bit like PE knickers but so, so comfortable.

Runderwear Running Pants

SHOP IT: RUNDERWEAR Women's Performance Running Underwear, from £15.99,

Running buggy

Don’t let a small child stand in your way of running! Running buggies mean you can run while your little one naps.

Out 'N' About Nipper Sport Stroller V4

SHOP IT: Out 'N' About Nipper Sport Stroller V4, £269.95,

Running belt

FlipBelt Classic Premium Running Belt

Keep your phone, keys and water handy.

SHOP IT: FlipBelt Classic Premium Running Belt, from £25,

Running socks

Running socks help prevent blisters and according to the makers you run faster with less injuries.

CEP Compression Short Socks 3.0

SHOP IT: CEP Compression Short Socks 3.0, from £9.99,

So there you have it - everything you need to get started. Enjoy!

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