Top tips for novice runners from Olympian, author and mum Jo Pavey

Long distance runner and world, European and Commonwealth medallist Jo Pavey has shared her top tips for inexperienced runners.

The 46-year-old achieved her first gold medal within months of having her second child, and chronicled her life as an athlete and mother in her autobiography This Mum Runs.

“As a busy mum, keeping active as a family has been a big motivator for me,” she said. “I love the fact we can get out together, my kids on their bikes and my husband and I running, or my son [who’s 10] will now run a bit with me.”

Jo recently told Lauren Taylor of the Belfast Telegraph how new runners can set themselves up for success with the following steps:

  1. Build up slowly: By progressing gradually and taking rest days, runners can ensure they stay injury free as well as protecting their immune system.
  2. Don’t be afraid to walk: If you initially find running really tough, it’s fine to include walking in your sessions. You can gradually build up to longer stretches of running.
  3. Run on soft surfaces: Try not to always run on roads or pavements and if you can avoid them, incorporate more forgiving tracks.
  4. Mix it up with hills and speeds: Don’t be afraid of hills and try to run a variety of routes in your local area. Research has shown hill running is hugely beneficial in boosting your fitness. Challenging yourself to run faster between two points and then jogging at an easy pace can be beneficial for progressing your fitness.
  5. Have fun: Running helps set you up for the day and leaves you feeling great.
  6. Set goals: Give yourself targets to achieve, but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t always reach them. You can reassess and make a new plan.
  7. Age is just a number: Your date of birth is not important as a runner and with age comes experience.

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