I love running, and I’m always on the lookout for ways to change up my running routine to keep things interesting and challenging. One of the aspects I enjoy most about running is that it’s an activity that calls for self-awareness. Managing pace and relative effort is a uniquely personal kind of focus; only you know how your body is feeling.
Along the same line of thought, don’t compare yourself to the person running next to you. Cardio is tough, and if and when we lace up our trainers to go for a run, we all start from different fitness backgrounds. Instead, I try to just run my own race, whether I’m with one of the London running clubs or on a solo explore.
While it’s important not to compare yourself to another runner, something I’ve found to really help my motivation is to get inspired by running blogs. There’s a great big world-wide web out there just teaming with tips for runners, and bloggers do a great job of framing these in context. So here’s a round-up of some of the best running blogs to follow. Whether you’re looking to learn about running for beginners, or training for your first marathon, this list has something for everyone.
Lazy Girl Running
Laura Fountain writes with refreshing candour about her running experiences. Now a personal trainer, run coach, marathon runner, and writer, she doesn’t shy from saying her passion for running wasn’t exactly love at first stride. “I wanted to be the person I saw on TV running down a beach carefree. It looked so easy. I could do that, right? A trip to the gym made me think otherwise. Running was HARD. Everything hurt. Everything felt wrong. I managed just two minutes of running before I had to stop.”
After persistent training, running stopped being quite so difficult and became enjoyable for her. In 2013, Laura launched running groups in North London to encourage hundreds of women to start or return to their love of running. A firm believer in the thought that if you can find enjoyment in an activity, you’re more likely to keep doing it, Laura’s blog is a wealth of knowledge for those who can’t make it to one of her running events.
The Lazy Girl Running blog covers topics such as:
- Running tips for beginners
- Half marathon training
- What to know about running, pregnancy, and breastfeeding
Run Talk Run
In terms of exercise you can do to benefit your cardiovascular health, it’s pretty well accepted that running is good for you. Increasingly, running is people are turning to jogging and running for mental health. Aerobic exercise increases levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin, the happy chemical.
Fewer groups advocate the connection between running and mental health better than Run Talk Run. Run Talk Run is a global mental health support group which hosts worldwide weekly 5km runs open to all abilities. In addition to the physical running community, they also have a thriving online community and blog presence led by founder Jessica Mary Robson.
Jessica’s mission for Run Talk Run is to create spaces where people feel supported and heard. “There are two things that propelled me out of my depression, anxiety and bulimia. The first was running, the second was community. I would like to see more ‘beginner runners’ discovering how truly powerful the running community can be to aid in recovery.”
The Run Talk Run blog discusses topics such as:
- Race reviews
- Coping with anxiety
- Running nutrition
If you’re looking to improve your running technique and running form, look no further than the training advice of Tashi Skervin-Clarke. She runs everything from sprints to marathons, and is a fully qualified run coach and personal trainer. She’s out to have a positive change in the fitness industry by promoting a balanced lifestyle through fitness and motivation.
Whether you join her for a personally tailored fitness programme or you’re simply keen to implement some learnings from her blog, Tashi will challenge you to be honest in your training. She’s not the type to turn you off your favourite sweets, but she’s all about being accountable with your habits and how that affects reaching your progress and training goals. In her own words, “I hope that my blog encourages you to live a healthier and happier life, but still make room for a glass of champagne of course!”
Tashi Skervin-Clarke’s blog covers topics such as:
- Tips to run faster
- Active travel
- Lifestyle and motivational content
Sophie Radcliffe aka “Challenge Sophie” is the definition of #runlikeagirl goals. Adventurer, endurance athlete, blogger, and public speaker, this wonder woman is the only person in history to have climbed the highest mountains in 8 Apline countries, cycling between them. That’s climbing fives times the height of Mount Everest in 32 days. But don’t be intimidated by her long list of accolades (ultra-marathon runner, two-time Ironman finisher, nine-time sub 24 hour London to Paris cyclist…), Sophie writes her blog with a wonderfully relatable thirst for adventure.
Challenge Sophie is a great go-to when you’re looking for inspiration. Readers are more likely to gain a sense of motivation to “enjoy the journey” of an active lifestyle rather than tactical training advice. As she likes to put it, “I believe in dreaming. I focus on fun, and strive for happiness and fulfilment, not perfection.”
Challenge Sophie’s blog covers:
- Adventure travel
- Race reviews
- Unconventional entrepreneurship
Feeling ready to lace up? Make sure you’ve got the running essentials.
Running kit essentials
Running is a fairly straightforward sport in that you don’t need much equipment to go for a run. But the kit that you do need makes a big difference in performance and enjoyment.
First and foremost, runners of all distances need reliable trainers. Running shoes are specifically designed to respond to the physical demands of running. So put your best foot forward and tear around city parks or blaze rural trails in the world's best running shoes. You can also discover dependable, stylish footwear to support both circuit training in the gym and sessions in the studio.
Having the right apparel for running is as important as having technical footwear. Be sure to have a high impact sports bra to keep you secure and comfortable on your long runs and hill sprints. Whether you’re inclined for leggings or shorts, some features to look for are:
- compressive waistband
- no transparency
- sweat-wicking fabric