If running can make a difference to your health, why not start now?

You want to improve your life by starting running but where do you begin? Whether overall health is your concern or getting involved in sport, each of us takes up running with an individual goal in mind. We will look at the options for getting started and which one is best for your lifestyle?

Before starting running, it is essential, to check with your doctor. The next step is to buy the best running shoes that you can find.

Now, you have decided to start running there are plenty of resources to help you on your way. So where do you start?  We will look at the benefits of the sport, several ways to take the first step, mountain running, running away from home and getting the basics in place. On your marks, read and start running.

First, we can look at some of the numerous benefits of running.

Benefits of running

This activity takes us out of our regular routine and into the outdoors which is invaluable.

  • Can easily fit around any other work or family commitments.
  • Is inexpensive and involves very little equipment except for good running shoes.
  • Is suitable for all levels of fitness from beginners up to runners who take part in marathons.
  • Can be part of a Personal Goal Achievement.

Health benefits of running

Just have a look at the varied health benefits of running.

  • Can have Mental health benefits especially for people working from home.
  • Increases energy, reduces stress levels and can elevate your mood.
  • Helps to keep weight in control while strengthening muscles.
  • Can still burn calories after you stop running.
  • Can be done alone, with friends or in groups.
  • Improves your sleep as more energy is used up in training.

Once you get started on your running journey there are plenty of inspiring sites to help you on your journey. Here are some of the sites which are packed with useful information.

Run for the activity or simply the enjoyment of the run with Recreational running

Recreational running can be a starting point enjoyed for the fun of the sport or simply to be with like-minded people. If you would like to start running but are not sure how to get started perhaps this is the option for you.

Here are two great sites.

  • The Get Ireland Running project (https://www.athleticsireland.ie/runzone/recreational-running-tips/) aims to encourage participation in the sport. Whatever your goal is, this site can help you get started and lists some Home Challenges along with video links for each activity e.g.
    • Long Jump Challenge.
    • Home Circuit Training.
    • Running Drill to try at home.
  • Park Run are free weekly events taking place on Saturday morning over 5km. In addition, on Sunday mornings there are junior park runs of 2k for children up to 12 years of age. Register only once and then take part. Please check the website for up to date information: https://www.parkrun.ie/

Run Ireland

Whether you prefer a short race or a multi-sport event, then you will need to check out this site. It shows information for all distances of races from 5k, half marathon and full marathon.

Super fit runners also have plenty of choice with the following events.

  • Ultra marathons.
  • Duathlons, consisting of running and cycling.
  • Adventure and Trail/Off road races.

All the above events are listed for the coming year. They include full details for the events and all the contact information. Check the homepage on their website for the latest information: https://www.runireland.com/

A real addition to this site is the sporting article section which has very relevant and informative pieces.

Here is a sample of the articles.

Irish Mountain Running Association

This site is packed with great detail for any mountain runner and lists over 150 clubs, spread throughout the entire country.  It has excellent, easy to access, information for any runner starting out with a very informative Beginners FAQ section. This concentrates on areas of importance for the novice mountain runner.

Here are some of the topics covered in the practical and highly informative Beginners FAQ section.

  • Race distances which can vary from 3km to 128km.
  • The difference between League Races and Championship Races.
  • Fees for races.
  • The Navigational Challenge and what is involved.
  • The WWR, the Wicklow Way Relay.
  • King/Queen of the Mountains.

Should mountain running appeal to you, this site is an inspiration.

Remember to keep a close eye on the website, https://www.imra.ie/   for any race deferrals that may be notified.

Running away from home

Have you ever struggled to find a running route when you are in a new location or simply wanted some more variety in your running routes? There website is here to help you. The site has suggestions for urban and rural routes throughout Ireland, Europe and also routes worldwide. You can see the full route details and in addition the site has a very helpful guide to elevation along the routes.

  • Galway has a selection of 20 routes. They vary in length from 2km to 20km with the majority of routes being circular. This includes a “Half Mara” which is 20.92km.
  • Limerick also has 20 routes listed with distances just over 37km. It features the “Great Southern Trail Rathkeale to Abbeyfeale”.

Further routes available in the above cities and also in Dublin, Tallaght, Dun Laoghaire and Cork. So if you are in any of these areas you can check out what is available. This is the website link.


Get started

So, you have decided to start running but you need some support to begin. Here is an excellent resource which is well worth reading for anyone starting out as it is packed with great general information. Among the topics covered are the following.

  • Getting started.
  • Differences for running in hot weather and running in cold weather.

Check out their website for full details.