With many gyms still closed, home workouts likely losing their excitement and the weather warming across the country, there’s never been a better time to take on some (close-to-home) human-powered endeavors than now. For those of us that are newer to running, we have compiled some great tips from Balega Impi Allison Szedlock!
SIGN UP FOR A RACE
Pick your desired distance, register, pay, put it on your calendar, and tell everyone and anyone who will listen. Post about it on social media, tell your family, recruit your friends. Keep your goal visible - create a countdown. Oftentimes, having a goal to work towards is enough motivation to get people out the door because no one likes to fail. In-person races might be on hold for the foreseeable future, but there are tons of virtual events and fun challenges that are circulating around the running community!
GET FITTED FOR SHOES
The right shoes can make a world of a difference. Hit up a local running store and let the employees help you find the right fit. A running specialist will perform a gait analysis which means they will put you in a pair of 'neutral' shoes, have you run/walk on a treadmill for about a minute, and watch how your foot lands. They will use that information, paired with your goals, past injuries, and desired level of cushion, to provide you with a few different styles to try on. And if you're not comfortable with that in-person experience, many running stores have recently started scheduling Zoom meetings and offering same-day curbside pick-up.
CREATE A PLAN
Through a quick online search, you'll realize that there are tons of free resources at your fingertips. Be realistic and keep things simple - registering for a race doesn't mean your life needs to be consumed by running. Figure out how many days you can devote to training and start from there. Blend multiple training plans together if you can't find one that covers all of your bases. Don't forget to incorporate cross-training and strength training!
FIND A RUNNING GROUP
Some people prefer to work out solo, while others thrive in a group atmosphere. Whichever you prefer, making a commitment will hold you accountable. Make plans to meet a friend, join one of the many, many online running communities, connect with other runners across social media platforms. There are tons of options nowadays that oftentimes are free to join and provide people with a supportive community in-person and online.
KNOW YOUR WHY
Why do you want to start running? To get into shape? To maintain your fitness? To get stronger? To make new social connections? To work towards a goal? To inspire change? Knowing your why will allow you to develop a deeper connection with your goal.