Get Inspired: How to get into Running

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From cigarettes and alcohol to marathon man - Steve Way
Fast Answers
Why get into running?Running helps to get rid of excessive adrenalin and other stress hormones, boosts your mood and keeps you fit
Who is it for?Everyone! Running is the perfect way to get active- it's free and you can do it right outside your door!
Is there a cheap option?Comfortable sports clothing and a suitable pair of trainers is all you need to get started.
What if I want a proper workout?Follow a training schedule to increase your pace and distance gradually.
Can I take it to another level?There are hundreds of running clubs up and down the country with professional coaches to guide you.
Is there a disability option?If you're a disabled athlete or looking to be a guide for runners, give the Parasports website a try.
Is there a family option?Many charities organise Fun Runs-which are often fancy dress! Sign up for and get the kids involved.

Running is free, you can do it anywhere, and it burns more calories than any other mainstream exercise. You can do it as little or as often as you like and fit it around your busy schedule. There is no excuse not to start running!

For more information on running - advice, training, races, clubs you can join - a good place to start is Run Britain. You could also find your local athletics club on the British Athletics website - there are more than 1,400 throughout the country.

Couch to 5K

If you are new to running, or you've not been active for a while, you may want to build your fitness levels gently by walking before you move on to running. Couch to 5K is a free nine-week running plan from NHS Change 4 Life especially designed for people who want to work on their fitness levels. The plan is all about starting slowly and building up gradually, incorporating walking and running, then building consistently until you are running for half an hour (or 5K depending on your speed).

Organised Runs

parkrun UK is a great place to start if you want to run with other people. They organise free weekly runs all over the UK that take place in a variety of open spaces including parks, woodlands and beaches. parkruns are timed runs - not races - and are open to people of all ages and abilities. There are 360 5k parkruns that take place every Saturday and 75 2km 'junior parkruns' that are held on Sunday mornings for children aged 4 to 14. All you need to do is register for free before your first run.

Running Clubs

Want to commit to running regularly but need that extra drive? Joining a running club is the perfect way to keep motivated. Most clubs have running groups for different levels, including beginners. Clubs are also a great way to find running partners to run with outside of club sessions and socialise with. Find a running club near you in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland & Wales.

Disability Running

Disabled athletes wanting to take part in running events can register online for support to find a local club and coach on the England Athletics website. They also hold a database of guide runners and can match you with a local guide in your area. Wherever you are in the country, you can use the parasport club finder to find your closest club.

Long Distance

Tempted to give long distance running a go? If you have got the stamina and motivation to stick to a strict training regime then you're half way there. Long distance running can take place on the road or track. You'll need a great pair of running shoes and a good diet to ensure you look after your body. But once you've experienced the feeling of crossing that finish line, you'll definitely never look back! Take a look at our Athletics and Triathlon pages to get more information about this kind of running, and use Run Britian's race calendar to sign up to a race and get tips for training.

Parkour/Free Running

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A North Lanarkshire town has been inspiring stunning displays of urban gymnastics

Also known as Art du Deplacement, this is a non-competitive discipline of moving freely over and through any environment (although usually urban areas) using only the body. This is done by running, jumping and climbing, using strength, fitness, balance, spatial awareness, agility, coordination, precision, control and creative vision. Parkour UK can help if you are looking for ways to start, or if you are interested in gaining coaching qualifications.

Fell running

Put simply fell running is a race up and down a hill, or a collection of hills, in the fastest possible time.

Competitors need to carry survival equipment with them such as warm clothing and a whistle and races often require competitors to self-navigate. Races can vary in length from three miles up to marathon distance - the Fell Runners Association website has a comprehensive race list.

Coaching and Volunteering

Whether you have been a competitor in the past or just have a keen interest in developing talent, UKA Coaching provides all the information you need about coaching opportunities. You can also try Sports Coach UK for more ideas. If you're keen to get into volunteering, parkrun UK are always on the lookout for helpers to add to their 7000 strong army of volunteers who help coordinate the hundreds of weekly runs around the county. Or use your skills to help a local club - British Athletics, Volunteer Scotland ,Join In UK,Sport Wales,Sport England and Volunteer Now in Northern Ireland all have information about volunteering opportunities near you.

Aspire to be like: Simon Lamb

What's next?

1. Go to our Activity Finder to get into running near you

2. Contact Find your local club by using British Athletics club finder.

3. Share your story and inspire others

Are you inspired to try Running? Or maybe you are a keen enthusiast already? Get in touch and tell us your experience of the activity by tweeting us on @bbcgetinspired, visiting us on Facebook or email us on

See our full list of activity guides for more inspiration.