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We talk to marathon runner & fitness blogger Charlie, aka The Runner Beans, about how to start running if you're a newbie...

According to Sport England’s Active People survey, running has had the biggest increase of any sport in England, rising by 63,000 to 2.1 million in 2015! With this in mind and along with our own recent new found love for the sport, we jumped at the chance to interview 6 times marathon runner Charlie. Here are her top tips for beginner runners!

The Runner Beans

How far, frequently and fast should you run to begin with?

I think it's all depends on the person - but I'd suggest starting slow. Often people think they can't run because they set off too fast and then struggle to complete a mile, however if they slowed right down, they would be able to run further than a mile! I love the couch to 5K app for complete beginners - it's a really friendly way to start running.

Top Tips for Beginner Runners

What and when should you eat before and after a run?

Personally I like something simple like toast with peanut or almond butter and a banana pre long run, then something with a combination of protein and carbs post run. I actually love something like chocolate mylk or an iced latte as soon as I finish a long run!

Do I need to invest in proper running gear?

I think the two most important bits of kit to invest in is your shoes and your bra. Spend money on these and then you can buy cheaper leggings, tops etc. However be aware of the fit and material - there's nothing more annoying than something falling down or chafing when you are running 26 miles!

Top Tips for Beginner Runners

Which running apps would you recommend?

Strava or RunKeeper - both free and great for analysing your stats.

How do you maintain the motivation to run?!

I have running goals that I know I won't be satisfied until I achieve them! I want to qualify for the Boston marathon which means running a sub 3.35 marathon. I'm not a fast runner so it's going to take me a lot of work to get there, but I'm determined to reach it.

Check out Charlie's blog The Runner Beans for more inspiring blogs on running and fitness! 

(Photography by Will Patrick)