Running is one of those things which, on paper, sounds pretty great. Getting out in the fresh air, exploring the trails before the rest of the world wakes up. Just you, your running shoes and a whole bunch of headspace. But often, especially when you’re just trying to get started, running can feel impossibly hard, incredibly sweaty… and pretty much like something you won’t want to do again unless you’re being chased.

We’ve all been there! But with time, patience, the right kit and the right training plan to build up your fitness… you’ll soon become one of those people that voluntarily goes out running. For fun. Yep, really! If you’ve always wanted to get into running but never been able to get past that ‘this is bleating horrible, what was I thinking!?’ stage. Or if you’re coming back to running after a long time and you’re not quite sure how to get started. Here’s some top tips from our resident word nerd (aka Content and Communications Manager) and running enthusiast, Jenny, to help you love your time out on two hooves…



Slow down

Fun fact: in a past life, before I came back into the wonderful world of content marketing and found my little word nerd self a home at Stolen Goat, I took a few years out as a personal trainer and beginners running coach. And something I really noticed was how many people were simply making running horrible for themselves by trying to run way too far and way too fast from the off. No wonder they said they hated running!

First up, start with walk-runs. I know, you’re going for a run so why am I telling you to walk!? Trust me on this… you’ll be running non-stop in no time and for these first few weeks it’s going to make actually sticking with it far easier. The precise sessions really depend on your fitness levels, and it’s worth mentioning that the various couch to 5km apps out there are a brilliant resource to use so you don’t even have to think about it. But for example, for a total beginner I would recommend:

5 minutes’ brisk walk to warm up, followed by some gentle stretches and mobility.
Followed by 30 secs jog (easy) 1 minute walk x 5-6
5 minutes’ walk to cool down.

Pick a short loop close to your house, or if there’s a suitable route head out in one direction for the first half of the session then turn around and head back the way you came for the second half, so you know you’ll end up back at your door. This session should feel fairly easy – but that’s the point. You want to finish it thinking: “Hey, that wasn’t so bad after all” rather than “never again, I am a tomato on legs, someone put me out of my misery.” That mental boost of comfortably completing the session means you’re far more likely to lace up your trainers and head out again next time.

You’ll build up the amount of time you spend running each session. Eventually you’ll be spending more time running than you are walking… then before you know it, you’ll be heading out for that first continuous 5km. And it will feel epic. Don’t worry about how far or how fast anyone else is running – if improving your speed is your goal, that will come. But for now, just enjoy building up your running fitness and feeling it get that little bit easier with each session.

Slowing down is something that pretty much all of us could do with considering. We talked about this in more detail in our Zone 2 Training blog. Even seasoned runners (in fact – especially seasoned runners) can be guilty of doing all of their training runs at way too high of an intensity. Once you are running regularly, make sure that you’re incorporating easy Zone 2 runs into your schedule. It’ll actually help to speed you up in the long term, and it means you can get the mileage in with far less risk of getting injured. Read the blog post to find out more about the benefits of low-moderate intensity training.

Treat your hooves to comfortable shoes

There’s nothing like aching arches or burning blisters to spoil a run – so make sure you get yourself a comfortable pair of running shoes. Finding your perfect, holy grail running shoe can honestly take a bit of trial and error. A shoe that one of your mates raves about can be totally wrong for you because we all have different preferences and biomechanics.

For your first pair, it can be better to go and physically try some on so you can find out what works for you. This is where checking out your local running shop is a great idea. They’ll be able to give you some expert advice on which of the many types of running shoes out there are most suitable for your individual needs. Once you know what you like, you can order future shoes online (which can be more cost effective). But to avoid injury, or just sore foot-related misery, it’s worth potentially having to spend a touch more on your first pair by purchasing in store. As a rule of thumb, for the general every day runner, you’ll be looking for something with a good level of cushioning and support that’s not too tight around your toes and doesn’t rub at your heels.

Choose running kit that balances comfort, performance and functionality

A big part of being comfortable and enjoying your runs is having kit which is lightweight, breathable and designed to avoid annoying chafe or excessive flapping around.

A recurring question from new runners is “but how do I carry all my stuff!?” – and I know that feeling. There’s nothing worse than kit that hasn’t got any pockets! You want to head out with at the very least, your keys and your phone so you can listen to your favourite playlist and you know… get back into your house when you’ve finished running. Here at Stolen Goat we’ve designed our running kit so that you can carry the essentials with you on the move. Our running shorts feature a rear zipped pocket. And, in addition to that rear pocket, our running tights also have a side phone pocket so that if you want to skip a track or snap a mid-run selfie (hey, there’s no shame in it!) you can get to it on the go.

We’ve also designed all of our kit to offer superb breathability. The fabric itself is quick-wicking and fast-drying, with antibacterial properties to keep the stink at bay. Plus we’ve added strategic mesh panels (for example under the arm pits and at the back of the knees) to help you let off some steam. The result? Top notch running kit that looks great and feels awesome! When you’re shopping for running kit, look out for these performance features and opt for running clothing that has flat-knit seams to avoid the dreaded chafe.

Plan your route

Running is a great way to explore all those little paths and trails that you can’t get to, or appreciate properly, when you’re zipping around on your bike. It can be tempting to keep heading out on the same old loop but this will soon get pretty boring and it can make finding the motivation to head out the door a little tricky.

Turn your runs into a mini adventure! Komoot is a brilliant app to discover popular running routes in your local area. You can even check out some of the must-sees (or coffee stops) uploaded by fellow explorers. And if you’re like me and have a sense of direction that resembles a fly somehow failing to spot every single open window when it’s managed to get trapped in your living room, you can also get the app to give you turn by turn directions as you trot along. I recently moved house and being able to discover new routes without the fear of getting lost has been a gamechanger!

Find your running Herd

There’s no friends quite like running friends. If you can get along when you’re huffing, puffing and wondering if you can trust that fart… you’re going to be friends for life! Joining your local running club is a great way to meet likeminded people. It’ll give you a group to run with – ideal if you don’t feel confident running alone – and having a set time and meeting point each week will help you to stay motivated and keep showing up.

If a club isn’t quite for you, don’t be afraid to check out your local parkrun on a Saturday morning instead! It’s non-competitive and you’ll find everyone from the ultra-speedy racers to the “let’s have a chat at the back” runners, so there certainly won’t be a shortage of people to keep you company. You’ll usually find a good place for post-run coffee and snacks nearby too.

Happy running, Goats! Don’t forget to check out the new Stolen Goat Run collection, and tag us in your photos so we can see you out and about on your next running adventure.