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New to running?

On this page we've gathered together some useful info for those new to running or want to run but don't know where to start.

The Tortoise & Hare weekday club runs usually last "about an hour", the pace varies depending on who is running but there is usually a slow, medium and fast group allowing everyone to run at their own pace. The different groups will start and finish together with the fastest group covering the most distance between the two.

But I've never run before, where do I start?

If you're an absolute beginner there's a lot of options out there for you, but just like any increase in exercise, make sure you're healthy enough to start so consult your GP as necessary.

Many people start on their own with a "Couch to 5k" programme, these ease you into moving quicker a bit at a time and allow you to build up your pace gently over several weeks. There are many variations such as Couch to 5k  Runners World and  Coolrunning but they usually start with the "Walk a bit - jog a bit - walk a bit - jog a bit" formula. 

In Cranleigh there's also the Cranleigh Sunflowers, a group of ladies that jog and run around Cranleigh and get together each Sunday for "An hour of laughter and exercise with no competition". Members vary from absolute beginners who've never run to those getting back in shape.

Do you want to start running on your own?

It's good to share the pride that comes from turning that fast walk into a jog and then into a run, but starting from zero can seem daunting as you won't know what to expect and will probably think "But I'm unfit, I'll look silly". You'll probably be able to make quicker progress than you thought possible, and nobody looks silly when they're running. (Or this that everyone looks silly when they're running?) It doesn't matter, either way you won't look any sillier than everyone else out there, and running with others is an amazing motivator.

Motivation - that's what I need!

Set yourself a challenge: Promise to do a run for charity and tell everyone you're doing it, follow a set training program and tell your family and friends to kick you out the door; promise to go out once a week no matter what!

But what about injuries? Don't runners get hurt?

Sometimes but not that often and the benefits from any exercise usually far outweigh the risks of injury while participating. [We'll update this with a link to our "info for injuries" page when it's ready]

I can run, but I can't run for an hour, what should I do?

How close are you? If you're not yet running a 5k then try following one of the programs above. If you are, then how about moving up to the 10k?