There’s not a more student-friendly way to burn some extra calories than by running. Cheap, easy and something anyone can do, it’s the perfect way to kick-start your exercise regime and challenge yourself. And there’s never been a better time to sign up to a national run than the start of the university year.
Most cities across the UK now host a national run, from a 5K or 10K right up to a half-marathon or full-blown marathon, so you can start as small or as big as you like. Training needn’t be difficult and it doesn’t have to dig too deep into your student pocket – just follow these tips.
Location, Location, Location
You don’t need to get yourself a gym membership to go running. Skip the treadmills and head outdoors. It’s a great chance to explore your university’s city and familiarise yourself with the area. You may find some good running routes that will take you to a new part of the city.
Or look out for the city’s parks. Depending on the size you could follow the tracks and do a few laps of the park, before working your way up to a longer run. If your city is lacking green space, even a run round the block or around campus is a start. That’s where fitness apps come in really handy with keeping you motivated and letting you set goals to constantly challenge yourself with distance, speed and stamina.
Join The Club
A running club is the perfect way to get into running, especially if you’re new to a city. There are so many benefits to signing up, whether you’re just starting out, training for an event or don’t want to run alone. There is a usually a small charge to join, but it won’t break the bank so ideal for your student budget. So what can you expect from becoming a member? Motivation, friendship and support no matter what your fitness level to name a few! It’s super easy to find your nearest club, have a quick search online for running clubs in your area and no doubt you’ll find groups of like-minded people to hit the streets with. It’s worth checking out your universities sports facilities too – there might be an active running community you can link up with.
Make sure you check if there’s a ‘Great Run Local’ in your area too. With free, weekly, friendly runs for all abilities and ages, you can take on a 2k or 5k route. All events are timed so you can track your progress each week – you could jog round with friends and have a natter or push yourself a little harder.
Dress the Part
Unlike many other sports where the cost for gear can quickly add up, you don’t need to splash out too much to get decent running gear.
Head to the High Street
Many of your favourite high-street stores now sell their own lines of sportswear, all of which is really affordable. If you’re planning on running after dark, make sure your gear has reflective strips on it so you can be seen.
Shop the Sales
The one thing you’ll want to spend a bit more on are your running shoes. This is where the sales come in. Most sports stores hold really good seasonal sales, so get in there quickly to pick up a deal. You’ll be glad for this initial investment too – if you buy a decent pair of kicks they’ll last for ages and you’re less likely to suffer injuries than with ill-fitting or poor-quality trainers.
Flash Your Student Card
Don’t forget to show your student card or NUS card when you get to the till. Especially if you’re shopping on the high street, plenty of stores will offer discount, sometimes up to as much as 40%! If you’re buying online you should be able to enter your student details to get discount too.
Sign up to be part of Great Run today and give yourself a fun challenge to fit around your studies and raise money for a good cause.
The Student Housing Company provides private student halls in cities across the UK and in Dublin, giving you a vibrant, social and comfortable place to stay during your time at university.