Marathon, Jogging, People, Men, Outline, Running

It’s that time of year again when the streets and parks are filled with brightly coloured runners.  They come in all shapes, sizes and speeds and are all on their own personal journey … quite literally.  Have you always been tempted to join their ranks but find yourself daunted by the prospect?  Why not check out our beginner’s guide to running, filled with handy top tips on how to get started and have fun doing it!

Just do it…

Now I know this is a catchy slogan, however, simply put, if you would like to join the millions of people who pound the streets and countryside every week, you just need to go out and do it. It is so easy to put off a run for another week, you’re too busy, too tired, catching up on Game of Thrones before the new season commences… When you are starting out, all you need is 15 minutes.  A wee bit of stretching, a mile of walking/jogging and you’re off!  

Kit…

One of the benefits of running is that it’s a really cheap way to exercise.  No costly gyms fees or expensive mechanical fitness machines for your home that you end up drying your laundry on.  That said, it’s probably worth buying some new trainers.  There’s a good chance the ones you have had for 10 years to walk the dog with, are not going to be quite as supportive as you need and rule number 1 of running is to look after your body.  Plus, buying new trainers is fun!  They don’t need to be a top of the range, “injected with multi-coloured oxygen particles” pair that will require a second mortgage.  Loads of great sports shops will find help you find the right style for your gait and you’ll still have change for a cuppa.

Warm-up…

Always warm-up and cool down, even when you’re just starting.  Stretching is not just for athletes and I promise, from experience, there is nothing fun about walking like John Wayne because you didn’t take a couple of minutes to stretch.  Also, don’t just lunge quickly in and out of these for 2 seconds each as though you’re in an 80’s dance video.  Hold each stretch for 20 secs for maximum relief.  Sighing is permitted.

Plan…

In the beginning you don’t know how long to try and run for and everything feels tough.  You don’t want to over-do-it, however also you want to push yourself.  Best plan is to have a plan.  There are loads of websites where you can download running plans for complete beginners that provide you with weekly breakdowns of how often and how far you should run.  These enable you to build up your running carefully and ideally injury free.

Apps…

Running apps are also a fantastic source of support.  Ranging from interactive couch to 5k programmes which provide motivating coaches, to running communities who support you on your journey.  You can track your mileage, plan routes so you don’t get lost (I have personal experience of this one adding additional unexpected mileage!) and you can even enjoy the thrill of being chased by zombies.

Goals…

Set yourself bitesize achievable goals so you feel like you’re making progress during the first few weeks.  It’s unlikely you’re going to be beating Usain Bolt any time soon over a 100m dash, however on the plus side – every time you run a longer distance you’ll be achieving a PB.  It’s all about the small wins!

Tunes…

It’s worthwhile having some banging playlists to keep you motivated.  Whether it be a few of your favourite tunes, or a running playlist that’s to your taste, it’s amazing how it distracts the mind as you run through the streets.  Always check a playlist out first before you run, one thing that’s going to kill your running mojo is having to stop and change music because suddenly you’re listening to Jedward.

Running Clubs/Groups/Mates… (delete as appropriate)

Runners benefit from company, especially in the beginning.  The joy of a running club is that there will usually be a wide variety of abilities there and often specific programmes tailored for beginners.  Not only will they take out all the hard work of planning and finding a route, it’s also a brilliant way to make new ‘running’ friends as you motivate each other on your journey.  Once you’re ready, why not incorporate Park Run into your programme, even if you’re walking part of it to begin with. It’s a fantastic community and you can measure your progress weekly.  If you don’t have any groups or clubs near you, or you’re just not ready for that step, why not find a mate who’s starting out too and you can jog/chat/laugh together twice a week.

Fuel/hydration…

As with any exercise, you need to think about what you’re putting into your body pre and post run.  Don’t eat right before you head out (cue stitch), but also make sure you’re not so hungry you could eat your own arm.  When you get back, eat something containing a little protein within 30 mins of getting home.  Drink up too – with lots of water to replenish your body after all that sweating!  You’ll note I say water here, rather than tea, coffee or a pint…

Have fun….

Seriously.  I promise you it will get easier and you will start to have fun.  The first few times you go out it’s genuinely hard to see how you’ll ever be able to run past the postbox at the end of the street, but you will.  It becomes incredibly satisfying to watch both your distances grow and your speed increase.  Keep mixing it up too.  Try different routes and terrains, times of day, running group and mates, so that you don’t get bored. 

So – what are you waiting for?  Why not lace up those trainers (if you have velcro trainers you really do need to go shopping) and head out for a run today.  If you’re feeling really brave, you could even sign up for the Run Reigate 10K and enjoy all the fun of a big event with medals, t-shirts, food stalls, bands and hundreds of people cheering you home in your first race.

Run Reigate Half Marathon 10k 5k Races

Latest Event Update

It is with a heavy heart that due to the ongoing uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic we are announcing that it will not be possible for Run Series to deliver any of our physical events this year – this includes Run Gatwick, Run Reigate and Ride Reigate.

Although not altogether unexpected, this is disappointing for everyone involved. However, our priority, regardless of this pandemic, has always always been for the safety and wellbeing of you the runners as well as our volunteers, partners, charities, staff, supporters and the wider community without any of whom our events would just not be possible. Given that there remains vast uncertainty on how to best safely move forwards we do not feel it would be practically possible, or socially responsible, for us to stage these events this year and deliver a safe, fun and enjoyable experience for all.

This decision has been made in consultation with all local authorities who right now are also unable to guarantee availability of event venues. So what happens now? ​All runners and riders currently registered for our 2020 events will be​ automatically transferred to our 2021 events​ and so there is no action for you to take at this stage. We are working with the local authorities and event venues to finalise the 2021 dates and we will announce these very soon. For further details on transfers and deferrals etc, please take a look at our Q&As. We value your opinion.​ We have been thinking about some exciting things we could potentially do for our runners and cyclists in the coming months until we can once again safely host our large scale events. We’d love your input to make sure we’re on the right track so please complete our short survey below. To say thank you for taking part, you’ll be in with a chance to win one of 3 fantastic top-to-toe On Running kits worth over approx. £300​! We very much look forward to when we can all race again and come together with confidence and lighter hearts doing what we do best – Running as One. Until then we would like to say a very heartfelt thank you for your continued support throughout this time, your ongoing understanding is greatly appreciated.

David Kelly, Race Director on behalf of the whole Run Series Team.

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POSTPONEMENT Q&A's

We appreciate there will be lots of questions and we have tried to pre-empt those with a detailed Q&A’s which you can find here

In the unlikely situation that you cannot find the answer to your query, please email us at info@runseries.co.uk​. Due to a reduced working team we will do our very best to respond to your query within 5 working days.

Why did you decide to postpone the 2020 races to 2021?

We considered many alternative approaches to try and safely deliver Run Gatwick, Run Reigate and Ride Reigate with appropriate social distancing measures. However, after careful consideration, we made the difficult decision to postpone all mass participation events to 2021. Our decision was rooted in the best interests for the health and wellbeing of runners, supporters, volunteers, sponsors, suppliers and all those involved in making the running of these events possible. In addition the continued uncertainty over government guidelines for events significantly reduces the window of time needed to plan and deliver safely our full event experience.

Will my registered place for my event still hold for 2021?

Yes, your entry for your 2020 event will be valid for the 2021 race and will be automatically transferred over to the new date (date still TBC), you do not need to do anything else, we will contact you nearer to the event with all the usual information.

Is there a refund option available for these events?

Organising our event requires a considerable amount of forward planning and expense – and entry fees are used to support these costs, many of which are incurred long before event day. Your entry fees doesn’t only cover on the day costs like road closures, barriers, medals, t-shirts, Policing, medical provision, etc – they also help to cover the up front planning costs which include staff wages, risk assessments, safety measures, consultation with local businesses, supplier fees and licences – to name but a few. For these reasons the Run Series refund policy for all of our events has always been the same, we do not and cannot offer refunds. This is made clear in our ​terms and conditions​ ​– which all runners agree to upon registration.

What if I can’t make the new event date?

As soon as we are able to, we will announce our 2021 dates. If you are unable to make the new date, you will be able to defer your place to the following year, transfer to another of our events or transfer your place to another participant. All of these options will be free of charge.

What happens if my place was allocated by a charity partner?

As your charity place belongs to your charity, any decision about your place must be made by them. Details regarding the potential reallocation of charity places should be discussed with the relevant charity partner directly.

What will happen to the Run Gatwick England Athletics National Championships and Sussex Athletics Championships?

The 2021 Run Gatwick event will retain Championship status for both Sussex Athletics and England Athletics and all elite places will automatically have their entry deferred to the new 2021 event as detailed by Run Series in the coming weeks.

Will there be a virtual event instead?

We are currently exploring options and invite you to complete our survey and have your say. We will take on board your comments and make an announcement regarding this as soon as possible.

When announced, are the 2021 event dates guaranteed?

As much as we would like to, we cannot offer you certainty around rescheduled event dates as there are just too many factors out of our control. In a world that is changing so rapidly on a daily basis, the future is far from certain but we will do our best to honour our commitment to you and deliver a fantastic event experience in line with the government regulations in place at the time.

What happens with my iTAB/PacePocket order?

Your iTab/Pace Pocket order will be carried over to your 2021 event entry.