As many of you know I recently entered to take part in a triathlon…this was a massive deal for me seeing as cycling to work was about as much exercise as I was willing to do.

It’s been a few weeks now and I can officially say exercising isn’t actually as bad as I thought it was. Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way a fitness fanatic now, but have found it is definitely a great way to blow off some steam after a long day in the office.

Seeing as it is only July, there is plenty of time for you to give it a shot… maybe even sign up for a race. So to help you get started in the right direction I wanted to share the running tips the lovely experts at Sports Shoes gave me.

The Kit. Your old tennis trainers just won’t do I’m afraid. The important part of the kit is your running shoes. Ideally you should go to a running specialist to get your gait assessed. The specialists will be able to tell you what shoes are best for you so you avoid injury. Wearing the right clothing will make you more comfortable and help keep you drier and cooler. Find items that aren’t too tight or too baggy and opt for synthetic fibres which help draw moisture aware from the skin.

The Run. If you haven’t run for a while then make sure you start slowly with a mile or so, you might also want to run / walk at intervals. Gradually build up your mileage adding no more than 10% per week. If you’re running in a gym make sure you ask for guidance from staff at the gym.

Keep Hydrated. Hydration is key to your performance as a runner. Making sure that you take lots of water before, during and after your run will stop fatigue, cramping and heatstroke.

Shield Yourself From The Sun. Sunburn can occur after just ten minutes in the sun, even in the UK! While it can be hard to avoid the rays, especially if you’re committed to training, there are things you can do to protect yourself from the ill effects of too much sun: cover up well within loose clothing, sunglasses and a hat. Sunscreen, with both UVA and UVB protection and a factor no lower than 15, should be applied 30 minutes before going out and then generously and regularly throughout the day.

Company. Find a friend to run or train with or join a club – it makes it much more fun and even harder to quit! Investigate the most scenic routes in your area and organise running with friends. Or, if you prefer alone time, treat yourself to some new music on your iPod and save it especially for your training sessions. Finding ways to combine running with your favourite activities will mean you look forward to it all the more!

Weight Target. “I will be a size 10!” or “I’m running the London Marathon” – have a goal. Aim to be a certain size or weight, and put reminders around the house, especially on the fridge door. Summer is a great time for that extra fitness or weight loss push, but you aren’t going to shed stones in just a few days or become a long distance runner overnight. If you’re serious about your goal, build a training programme and stick to it for a good few months! Remember that eating healthily and getting regular exercise is the best way to lose weight and keep in mind other factors when assessing how well you’re doing- has your general mood improved? Are you more lively?

Distance Target. If weight isn’t an issue for you why not sign up for a race, even if it’s just a 5km fun run. Again, having a clear goal is so important, but a deadline makes it that bit clearer and important.