People seem to think I am a serious athlete because in the last three months, I have become the go-to person for running questions. Several people have asked me for advice on how to start running. So here we go…
Step 1: Find a running store and get fitted for running shoes. Running in the right shoe will make a big difference. Your feet will feel better. Your legs will feel better. My local running store, GoRun Wichita, has a treadmill with a camera attached to the back that they use to take slow-mo images of your feet while you run to evaluate your stride. I overpronate a bit, so they put me in a guidance shoe. I currently wear a Saucony Guide 7. It’s truly my Goldilocks shoe. It fits JUST right. And while running can be a fairly affordable sport, be prepared to drop around $100 for a good pair of running shoes.
Step 2: Get at least one or two nice running outfits. I have a theory that if you look and feel good in what you are wearing, you will have a good run. Stick with synthetic, wicking fabrics. Cotton is not a runner’s friend. If you plan on running outside year round, you’ll want to invest in a pair of nice winter running tights, a long sleeve base layer, a long sleeve top layer, running gloves, and a warm headband.
Step 3: If you are a woman, get a good running bra! PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE! I see women all the time at the gym running on the treadmills that I swear they are *this* close to giving themselves a black eye with their own boobs. My weight loss has robbed me of my previously well-endowed chest, but I still wear a good high impact bra. My favorite is Moving Comfort’s Vero. Hint: Moving Comfort has last season’s colors on clearance right now!
Step 4: If you plan on running outside, get a RoadID. If you get into an accident and are able to communicate, emergency responders can access your medical history and emergency contacts. It’s a MUST have! They come in fun colors…mine has three “outfits” pink, purple, and teal. Hehe.
Step 5: Start out slow. I did not start running 3 miles at a time. I used Couch to 5K. It utilizes walk/run intervals to build up endurance. And if you have to repeat weeks, do it! If you go out too fast, you could get shin splits or injure yourself worse. There are several apps, including a couple of free ones, that you can download on your phone. Or you could print out a workout and just use a stopwatch.
Step 6: Find a race and sign up for it! Once you sign up for a race and pay your race fee, you are locked in to the training plan. It will inspire you to keep at it. My city has a 5K almost every weekend when the weather is ideal. Check with your local running store or running club for upcoming races.
Step 7: Reward yourself. I know I said that running can be an affordable sport, but it doesn’t have to be. Ha! I am addicted to buying running clothes and other goodies. There’s so many things you can treat yourself with and collect over time. Garmin GPS running watch, water bottles, running outfits, fun socks, compression gear, an iPod shuffle, foam roller, race belts. And of course, the biggest reward could be clothes in a size or two smaller.
So lace up your shoes, get outside, and give running a try. I never thought I would fall in love with running as hard as I did. And maybe you can to…it’ll change your life!
Me after my first timed 5K. My daddy captured this picture. He missed me crossing the finish line…I was just too fast for him. 😉