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Getting Started with Summer Running 


Summer is here and you might be thinking about how you can improve your fitness AND get outside more while the weather is nice, sunny, and warm!  Summer is my favorite season and I look forward to this weather every year.  Going for a run outside in the summer helps me relieve stress, improves my overall mood, and helps me maintain a strong level of cardiovascular fitness.  Running is also a relatively inexpensive sport to get into.  The only requirement you have for running is a good pair of shoes.  And you can do it anywhere, at any time!  Other summer sports like golf or tennis require a very specific type of equipment and place to play.  Running is super low maintenance!   

These are all great things, but getting into running if you are new to the sport can be intimidating. 


Here are a few tips to help you get started: 


1. Start with run/walk intervals while you’re building up your fitness.  Try 20-30 minutes of alternating between 30 seconds running and 1 minute walking.  Over time you can increase your running time and decrease your walking time. 


2. Make sure you have a comfortable pair of running shoes that are right for your feet and body type.  Shoes that are specifically designed for running will offer the support you need for your feet and joints.  If you are unsure of where to start, try going to a specialty running store where they will watch your walk or run, ask a series of questions about your current run/walk routine, and make an educated recommendation on the proper pair of shoes to start with. 


3. Hold yourself accountable and sign up for a 5k!  This will give you a goal to work toward as well as a little motivation to keep going, even when your training gets difficult.  If you have never attended or run a race before, this may feel a little scary.  A 5k is a great place to start and it might surprise you the age and fitness range of those participating.  I am inspired by the encouragement and support of other runners every time I run a race.  It truly does not matter if you come in first place or 214th place- the spectators cheer loudly and the race volunteers support you! 


4. Most importantly, have fun with it!  Try to find the joy in moving your body and setting and reaching for goals, especially when those goals feel challenging.  Long term success with health and fitness will come when you get enjoyment from the work that you’re doing. 


Allyssa R., Sarpy YMCA Health & Wellness Director

Category: Health & Wellness
Image of Allyssa - YMCA Health & Wellness Director

Allyssa Ray is the Health and Wellness Director for the Sarpy YMCA.  She is a certified  personal trainer and group exercise instructor.  She started running more than 25 years ago in middle school track and cross country.  She has trained herself and completed 10 full marathons (one on a treadmill in the lobby of the Sarpy YMCA!), one ultra-marathon, and a bunch of half marathons and 10ks.  Her running adventures are always supported by her husband and three children!  If you are looking for help in getting started with a running career she would love to offer you guidance or even just be your cheerleader!