Getting a Running Start

Getting a Running Start

Getting a Running Start

by Susan Neuhalfen

Running has its advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, it’s hard on the body. It jars joints and just leaves you feeling achy all day if you don’t do it enough. On the other hand, it’s a very quick way to lose weight and a great motivator. It is also addictive, and once that addiction is discovered by a runner, the euphoria is unmatched.

For those just starting to run, however, the entire thought can be overwhelming. Luckily thousands of people have taken the time to create the best equipment available to make learning to run easier than ever.

Here are a few first steps to make that transition to running:

Couch To 5K Apps

Signing up for a run is a great way to motivate yourself, and there is no better motivator than a 5K (3.1 miles). Unlike a 1 mile fun run, it’s just long enough to be a challenge without feeling like you are running forever like a half-marathon or full marathon. Lucky for you, there are several apps entitled “Couch to 5k” for the beginning runner. Many are free and some work better than others depending on the type of phone used.  A few recommended include: 5K Runner, C25K, Zombies, Run! 5K Training, and 5K Run.

GPS Watch – Heart Monitor

It’s important to keep an eye on your heart rate when you run, which is why you should invest in a quality GPS watch designed specifically for runners. Runner’s World lists the Apple Watch Series 4, Coros Apex Multisport, Polar Advantage, Garmin Fenix 5 Plus, and the Suunto 9 as just a few of the more advanced GPS watches for runners in 2019.

The Right Shoes

Don’t just purchase any run-of-the-mill tennis shoe – go to a shoe store that specializes in running shoes, and let the specialist watch you run or walk.

Runners may run on their toes, the outside of the feet, or even their heels. It varies, and there are shoes designed specifically for how you run. The right shoe can mean the difference between sore hips and ankles and feeling great. While you’re at it get some good, cushy running socks.

A Good Place To Run

Finding a good trail is a great motivator.  Google “running trails near me,” and there will be plenty. You can also look in the pages of this magazine, as we have put together a map of nearby trails and other running spots.

Take Your Mind Off It

The point of listening to something is to take your mind off the run and put it into a positive state. Design a playlist with songs that mimic the beats per minute (BPM) of the run, or just turn on Pandora Radio and listen to your favorite tunes. Podcasts and books are available if you prefer something other than music. The app Zombies, Run narrates an adventure story in which the runner outruns hordes of hungry zombies while collecting things for the mission.

Find A Running Mate

To take running in a more social direction, there are plenty of running clubs in the area, and most are free. Search the internet and find one that fits your style.

There are plenty of other hacks out there to make running easier. Start with these basics and then work into exactly what is needed to make running a great go-to sport that fits your schedule.

Remember, it’s never too late to start a great new habit like running.

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