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How to get into running, according to an expert

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ADIDAS

WORDS BY CAIT EMMA BURKE

“Running is character building… it will help you build resilience and make you feel empowered.”

Since I finished high school over a decade ago, I’ve struggled to find a form of exercise I genuinely liked. And because I didn’t enjoy most forms of exercise, I never stuck to anything. Sure, I’d dabble in yoga and Pilates here and there, but as my mum constantly reminded me, “Cait, you need to do something that really gets your heart rate up!!”

The reason she was so insistent on me adopting a higher intensity exercise routine is because there’s a growing body of research that points to it being incredibly beneficial in managing anxiety. And being an anxiety-riddled millennial, I was eager to regain a sense of calm in my life. I attempted to get around gym workouts, HIIT classes and 20-minute ab blast tutorials on YouTube, but I just didn’t enjoy them. Actually, I dreaded them.


Interested to hear how others navigate the world? Head to our Life section. 


So exercise and I have had a rather rocky relationship. But a few months back, my editor suggested I really give running a go – something I haven’t done since age 16 or so. Low and behold, within a few weeks I had well and truly caught the running bug. And as my obsession with running amped up, so too did my desire to revamp my exercise wear. First on the agenda was a new pair of runners, and I was lucky enough to be sent a pair from adidas to try out: the Adizero Boston 10.

I didn’t realise how badly I needed a new pair of runners until I went for my first run with these babies. I felt so light on my feet, and the Lightstrike Pro foam provided much needed cushioning as my legs hit the hard pavement day in and day out. The Adizero is part of a host of recent running shoe releases from adidas, including the Ultraboost 22. Each pair is made with the latest technology, meaning you can run harder and longer, while minimising your chance of injury.

I now run four to five times a week (I know, I can’t quite believe it either) and not to be corny, but it really has changed my life. I actually look forward to going on runs, something I just didn’t think was possible. And yes, runner’s high is a very real thing and it’s like nothing else.

But as someone who’s still at the very start of my running journey, I’ve got lots of questions. Luckily Britt Cutts, an avid runner and an adidas trainer and fitness ambassador, shared with me her expert advice on getting into running, avoiding injuries, and keeping that momentum going.

Hi Britt, how did you first get into running and what do you like about it?

I began when I first moved to Australia nine years ago. I struggled at first as I was never a ‘runner’! I started with 1 km then would complete that a couple of times a week, when I became comfortable I would increase it by another km.

I began increasing by a small amount each week and eventually caught what they call ‘the running bug‘. It is now my meditation, my happy place and [provides me with] some alone time. It gives me a chance to explore nature, the city I am in and soothe the soul with the beat of my music and rhythm of my breath.

I’m a beginner at running, so I’m still familiarising myself with it. I always feel a bit awkward when it comes to the positioning of my arms. Do you have any advice on the correct way we should be holding them while running?

Relax through the shoulders and let them flow with your run. Try to avoid stiffness and have them bent at 90 degrees.

I’m currently running three to four times a week and I’m keen to avoid any injuries. How important is warming up and warming down, and do you have a routine someone like me should try? 

I always recommend adding glute/core activation, hip flexor and hamstring mobility and if possible, some foam rolling. To increase the hype, perhaps incorporate some power or speed movements into the warm-up, e.g. fast feet, squat jumps, high knees etc. I find the more power you have in your glutes and core, the more chance you have of avoiding any unwanted injury. 

What should someone who is new to running be looking for in a running shoe?

Something to stabilise the ankles, keep you light on your feet (boost) and a shoe that does not wear and tear.

Any final advice for beginner runners?

Start small then work your way up slowly.

  • Be patient as the first couple of runs feel awful but as you find your groove and run more, you begin to understand why people get addicted to running. 
  • Give yourself small goalposts when you run and tick them off until you reach that finish line.
  • Running is character building. Set yourself a goal (even small) and when you achieve it despite the mind telling you to stop, rest and give up, it will help you build resilience and make you feel empowered. Do it for the thrill, the improvement in your mindset and that liberating sense of achievement.

Explore adidas’ range of running shoes here.

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