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Essential tips for students who want to start running

Written by Fiona

June 27 2024

Running is a great way to boost your physical and mental health. So, how does a busy student with little time and motivation get started? Here are some straightforward tips to get you off to a good start.

Start slow – it’s not a sprint

It’s important to start easy. Try a basic form of interval training by running for one minute, then walking for two minutes. Then, increase the running time as you get more comfortable and your body adjusts. It keeps the whole thing pleasurable rather than a painful slog.

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Get the right gear – your feet will thank you

The right gear ensures that a runner is comfortable while reducing the chances of an injury. Below are some examples:

Running Shoes: Proper shoes with good support and cushioning to prevent injuries.

Moisture-Wicking Clothes: Apparel that draws sweat away from your body, keeping you dry and comfortable.

Running Socks: Socks prevent blisters and provide additional support.

Fitness Tracker: Devices like smartwatches or heart rate monitors to track your progress and health metrics.

Hydration Belt: A belt with water bottle holders to keep you hydrated on longer runs.

Reflective Gear: High-visibility clothing or accessories for safe running in low-light conditions.

Running Hat: A hat to avoid sunburn and to keep sweat out of your eyes.

Compression Wear: Items like compression socks or sleeves to support muscles and improve circulation.

Running Gloves: Lightweight gloves to keep your hands warm in cooler weather.

Arm/Leg Bands: Bands to hold your phone, keys, or other essentials while running.

These items constitute your running gear’s essential equipment to be comfortable and efficient.

Hydrate and fuel properly

It can be as hard as the last-minute scramble to write an essay the night before it’s due. Here are the main steps to keep your tank full, your body revved and ready to go. 

  1. An hour before you set out, a small, balanced pre-run banana or peanut butter sandwich meal should do the trick.
  2. Run hydrated by drinking water consistently throughout the day. Even mild dehydration can affect your performance and recovery.
  3. Keep dry, easily digestible snacks around, especially if you’re a grab-and-go person.
  4. A snack of protein-rich foods plus carbs within 30 minutes of ending your run will put your body on the fast track to recovery. 

With proper fuel, you’ll help your engine run efficiently. Not only that, you’ll give it something to run on. With adequate hydration, you’ll help your cooling system do its job. Not only that, you’ll have something to cool. You’ll be helping your body, not only while you’re running but after as well.

Mix it up – scenery and routine

You’ll end up being bored if you run the same route around campus. Instead, find different areas of your campus to explore, or search out a nearby park to meander through. And switch up what you do during your runs.

Don’t focus just on the steady-state cardio that’s supposed to keep our hearts healthy; include some interval training or hill repeats to become fitter and faster in less time.

At the same time, you can combine studying and running. For instance, you can download an audiobook or more lectures while running. If you feel stressed at some point and are desperate to manage some of these tasks, you can find the best essay-writing services here. In this way, you can meet your academic commitments and remain in shape, academically and physically.

Listen to your body

It is your body. It generally tries to hint at how you feel. If you see a sharp pain, that’s an obvious clue to stop. Recovery is as much part of the run as the run itself. 

Crossing the finish line

Running doesn’t have to be a race. You can do it one step at a time, and going slow will pay dividends in the long term. Gradual ramp-ups with the proper gear, eating and hydration, short-run variability, and intelligent listening can all lead to a smooth experience on the track – and in the classroom. Running is a good way to mitigate the stress of college life, improve your health, or boost your GPA. Get your body moving and push yourself a little, whatever your speed or ability. You might just find out where some of your best ideas are hiding.

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