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So You Want To Be A Runner?

Maybe you ran in high school or college, or your spouse is a runner and would like you to join in on the fun.

Or perhaps you are looking for a way to get in shape and enjoy other people’s company, or have a few hours of solitude during your week. Running is a great activity to do alone or with others; it allows you to spend time outdoors and increase your cardio health and strength.

But how to get started? It seems like you could just open your front door and start running, and despite the fact that running is a simple sport, there are a few things that can make it easier and more enjoyable.

1. Get a good pair of shoes. Go to a specialty running store and get fitted properly. The salesperson should watch you walk and run, both in your shoes and barefoot. They may have a treadmill, or they will take you outside to watch you run. It is important to understand your foot structure and to know how much support you need in your shoes. You may also need special insoles. While you are there get a nice pair of running socks – your feet will thank you.

2. Join a group. Most cities have running clubs. A group club can provide training, education about injury prevention, and, most importantly, camaraderie. You’ll make new friends and you’ll always have someone to run with. It’s a great way to stay motivated.

3. Start slow. Start your running program by using a combination of walking and running. The couch to 5K program uses this method, as does the training program of Jeff Galloway. You can continue using walk breaks forever, walking during a run or a race doesn’t take away from the fact that you are a runner.

4. Have a goal. Find a 5K race in your area and mark it on your calendar. It can take 12 to 16 weeks to train for a race, and having that goal will inspire you to follow your training plan. You’ll have a wonderful feeling of accomplishment as you cross the finish line, and you may be inspired to try an 8K or 10K.

5. Don’t do too much. Start out running three days a week; if you run every day you are likely to develop injuries. On the off days you can walk, bike, swim, do yoga, or strength train. Cross training is an important component of a running program.

This is the perfect time of year to begin a running program. As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer you will have more time to run. Get outside and enjoy nature; you’ll find yourself energized, relaxed, and you’ll get healthy and fit.

Read more posts by Linda Tabach, Linda is a blogger for JenningsWire.