Niomi Smart talks us through her six top tips to help any runner who is just starting out.
With everything going on right now, it’s hard to keep on top of our mental and physical well-being, especially with gyms being closed. However, with this free time, a lot of people have taken up running as their regular form of exercise, and Niomi Smart is here to show us her top tips for starting out.
Niomi is no amateur when it comes to running, having done so for years and even competing in a London marathon. She has been sharing her journey on Instagram for a while now. As she mentions in her video, running is something that can be quite intimidating for a lot of people, but comfortably reassures us that “you don’t have to be a runner to run”, which makes her tips even more useful. She learnt these on her own, and over time has come to understand what works well for her and is ready to share those tips.
Her first tip is to “plan ahead”, whether that be through scheduling it in around your other workouts or simply laying out your running clothes the night before, so it’s all there ready for you in the morning. Planning your routes can also help – maybe having three to four options of different routes to take – so you don’t always get bored on your runs.
Next is to run with someone else. Obviously, with the current situation, we can’t just run with anyone, but Niomi makes good use of the internet and suggests virtual running with a friend. Both plan a time to run together on different routes, which Niomi says “is good for motivation”.
Moving on from this notion of technology, she recommends using apps to help track your runs. The Nike Run Club is her personal choice, as it keeps a log of all your runs, so you can see the progress from when you first started. As Niomi says, it reinforces the idea that you’re not going to be perfect at the start – it’s something you build on.
Buying the appropriate trainers and activewear is Niomi’s next tip, describing that once she updated her shoes to proper running trainers, she felt the difference and the support made her techniques a lot better.
The tip she regards as the most important and one that we believe can really change the way we look at runs is that of “mind over matter”. It’s so easy to reach a point in your run when you start to mentally shut down and want to stop. Niomi’s top tip is to scan your body and recognise that you’re doing fine as you are and you are strong enough to carry on.
Her final tip is to keep yourself nourished. Everyone is going to run differently and at different times of the day, but what she does end on is getting the balance of your nutrition correct. Giving your body the fuel it needs to keep going, but not too much that you feel slow and sluggish.
Running is something that can benefit us all in times like this. As Niomi states, it “cleanses our mind and bodies”. Our bodies are built to move, but when the world shuts down, it’s easy to also allow ourselves to as well. Niomi’s video makes the intimidation of going for a run less daunting and more manageable, so if you’re feeling a little unmotivated, hopefully this video will help you get started. You never know, you might end up running a marathon yourself!