Want to get into running, but don’t know where to start? Here are a few tips to get you going:
► Determine WHY you want to run. Knowing your “why” will help you get motivated, build a routine, and keep you going!
- Do you want to lose weight, get healthier, move your body more? All of these are great reasons to start running. Take a few minutes to think about this and write down your “whys” so you can refer back to on those days that you’re struggling to get going.
► Do some research and find the right pair of shoes for you, your feet and body, and your running goals. The staff at specialty running stores are trained to look at your feet and your gait and make recommendations on what shoes might be best.
► If you are brand new to running, make sure to start slow and easy and do not compare yourself or your progress to anyone else.
- Run/Walk intervals are a great way to build up stamina slowly.
- Start with just 30 seconds to a minute of running and alternate with 1-2 minutes of walking. Repeat this for a total of 20-30 minutes.
- As you build strength and stamina you can increase your run time and decrease your walking. For example: run for 3 minutes and walk for 1 minute. You can build up your total time to 40-50 minutes.
- Start with these run/walk interval sessions 2 to 3 times per week and then try to build up week to week. You do not have to increase your run time each time you go out. Too much too fast can lead to injury, so make sure you take the time to see how your body is responding to an increase in activity.
► A great beginning goal is to run a 5k (3.1 miles). You can do this on your own, but there are many 5k races offered all over and at all times of the year. Many even have fun themes! My daughters and I ran two themed races in 2021: The Don-nut Stop Running 5k and the Candy Cane 5k!
The running community is truly amazing! If you have any interest at all in signing up for a 5k, my suggestion is to just go for it! You may feel nervous or anxious running in your first “race”, but the support of race volunteers and other runners is incredible. You will see runners of all ages, sizes, and fitness levels at a 5k, but everyone is working for that common goal: to cross the finish line and earn their medal. Whether I am running a 5k or a marathon I always leave a race feeling inspired by the positivity of the running community.
Allyssa Ray - Sarpy YMCA Health & Wellness Director