Running

Running and jogging are great ways to get fit. Whether you’re just starting out or getting back into it, there are many ways to get into running and find a women’s running or social jogging group to work up a sweat with.

The best thing about running is you can do it for your own reasons. Whether it’s for fitness, fun or how it feels, running is a great activity for women to get into. Plus, you get to explore your local area while doing it.

On this page we look at:

  • This Girl Can Ambassador Kirsten and Brenda’s stories about discovering running and how it makes them feel
  • The health benefits of running
  • How to learn running for women and become a runner
  • Joining a local women’s running group or social running community

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After finding running in her thirties, Kirsten loves her weekly women’s running group

Growing up as someone who preferred all kinds of other extra-curricular activities over sport, Kirsten found her running rhythm in her thirties. Now she loves her weekly ‘5am Sisters’ running group of Indigenous women who “pump each other up” and run to feel good rather than chasing the unattainable “Beyoncé body.” How does she feel about running now compared with when she was growing up? “I mean for one I feel tired,” she laughed, “but I feel strong and powerful.”

The benefits of running for women

Running down the street or a kilometres might seem like a challenging task at first, but once you learn how to run and get into it, you’ll be surprised at what your body can do.

  • There are lots of benefits of running for women too, including:Improving cardiovascular fitness
  • Strengthening muscles
  • Building healthy bones
  • Reducing the risks of heart disease
  • Enhancing mental wellbeing
  • Improving your sleep and energy levels throughout the day

If running sounds like an activity you’d like to try, read on. Remember, the first step can sometimes be the hardest! After that, it’s all downhill (unless of course, you come across a hill on your run).

Brenda started walking, then eventually began loving her runs

After high school, Brenda had a 15-year break where she “didn’t do anything”. Then she slowly started getting active again by walking first, then running. Now Brenda loves the supportive Parkrun community and says it doesn’t matter how fast you walk or run, how much you jiggle, how grey your hair is or how daggy your clothes are – “there’s no judgement”.

How to start running for beginners

How can you learn to run in Melbourne or regional Victoria? Whether you’d like to know how to start running from scratch, start running late in life or for the first time in years, there’s a program or running class available to teach you the basics.

Search online to find local women’s running classes near you. A lot of private running coaches and specialist organisations offer running clinics and lessons that are designed for women who are just starting out.

If you’re practicing on your own, running apps can be fantastic for motivation and monitoring your progress.

 Your age, background and speed don’t matter.  The best way to learn how to start running from scratch is to find a local program or trainer, and give it a go.

Joining a women’s running or jogging social group

Some women like to go running on their own, and others enjoy running with friends or a group. If you haven’t tried running or jogging with a group before, you could give it a try when you feel ready.

Parkrun organises free, weekly, timed 5km runs open to everyone. It’s perfect for beginners looking for a way to get into running for the first time, and women getting back into running after a break.

Another way to get started is Run Like a Girl Australia. They provide courses for women learning to run for the first time, with casual group running sessions so you can meet some supportive women to make the journey even better!

Find a women’s running or jogging community or learn how to run

  • Visit the websites mentioned on this page: Parkrun or Run Like a Girl Australia.
  • Google it! There are many ways to start running for girls and women, and you don’t need to get lessons if you don’t want to. If it feels right, get out there and go at your own pace in your local area. You can always attend a running class or join a group later.
  • Find a Supporter in your neighbourhood, to see if a women’s running group has registered online to support This Girl Can – Victoria.
  • Ask other women about running – chat to your friends, family or colleagues about doing an activity together, or post a question to our Facebook page where there’s a super supportive community of women who can help you out.

Can’t get out right now?

If you can’t make it outside at the moment, that’s okay. There’s plenty of other ways you can get active and enjoy how it feels to include more movement in your day.

There are some great workouts on Get Active @ Home that you can try in your own time. They’re a great way to get a sweat up with some low-impact movements. You can also use the time inside to research some new places to go running – just make sure you stay safe and stick to areas you feel comfortable running in.

Learn more about This Girl Can – Victoria and how it’s helping women feel good by getting activity in a way that suits them.

More inspiration

Hear the stories of women just like you who have decided to put on their running shoes and give it a go.

Jessica, a proud Gunditjmara and Yorta Yorta woman, says running helped her get through a tough time in her life. Growing up in country Victoria, Jessica had played sport, but got caught up as a teenager making the wrong decisions. Then, a friend encouraged her to get active and start running. Now, she’s aiming to get her mob moving too and use running as a tool to heal and stay active.
Danielle used to enjoy cross-country running, but she’d had kids and life got busy with work and family. Danielle was born with a benign brain tumour and two years ago, had it removed. She decided running was part of her recovery. She was worried she wouldn’t be able to do it, but she used running as a way to take back control in her life.
Neslihan, 34 was always discouraged from playing sport. Because of her vision impairment, Neslihan’s parents feared she’d get hurt. So it wasn’t until she was in her thirties that she began to run. She wasn’t confident and initially started walking, tethered to a friend. Then she became hooked. Neslihan loves the freedom she feels whenever she’s running.

There are many other activities or sports you can have a shot at, if you want to try something else. Remember, it doesn’t matter what you look like, or if you don’t know all the moves yet. All that matters is you’re giving it a go.