It’s that time of the year again…time to lace up the running shoes and get those legs moving. For those of us who run, there’s nothing quite like the call of the trail, the lure of another race shirt, and the inescapable desire to be just a little bit faster. Runners are a breed unto their own. Once committed, there isn’t much (including an injury) that will keep us away. We are in love with (addicted to?) our sport. And our numbers are growing.

It’s relatively easy to start running. You just tie up some thickly-soled shoes made up of some superduper, space-age foamy material (make sure you get fitted by a professional) and either head out the door or press “START” on the treadmill. But then what? How far? How fast? How often? What if it HURTS????
Seasoned runners have their own set of guidelines that they’ve developed over the miles. Hundreds of thousands of steps pounded out on unforgiving ground are the ultimate teacher. But for newer runners, or runners looking to take it up a notch, a few tips to consider.

Follow These Running Tips

WEAR PROPERLY FITTING SHOES!!! Seek a local specialty running store where experienced people (usually runners themselves) will look at your gait, analyze your feet, and put you into a properly fitted shoe. The wrong shoe is the root of a lot of running injuries and evils.
START SLOW AND SHORT. No more than a 10% increase in intensity/distance per week. When transitioning to outdoor running from a treadmill, be mindful there is a 30% training lag. Running too far too fast keeps doctors who treat runners busy.
GET ADVICE. Hire a coach or join a running club. As with anything new, There’s a lot to learn, and enlisting someone who knows better can save you much pain and frustration.
SLEEP AND EAT WELL. Give your body proper fuel to run on, and good raw materials to rebuild and repair the inevitable damage that occurs to the tissues with running. And sleep enough to allow yourself time to recover.
TAKE REST DAYS. DO NOT run everyday. You will mentally and physically burnout if you do. Some experts argue rest days are MORE important than run days.
SIGN UP FOR A RACE. Pick a goal. It gives you focus, and keeps you on track. Plus you get some cool swag in your race packet!
DRINK LOTS OF WATER DURING THE DAY. Just during a run is not enough.
COVER UP. Skin cancer can be deadly. You can’t run away from the sun.
RUN WITH ID. Be aware of your surroundings. Run with a buddy. Be careful day or night.
LIVE TO RUN ANOTHER DAY!!!! Repect pain. If it hurts, slow down. If it still hurts, STOP. See a doctor who specializes in treating runners. An injury can quickly escalate if unattended, and can easily end a season or a career.
So strap on those shoes and enjoy some good healthy miles. With a little mindfulness and body awareness, you can expect a long, prosperous running career, and dressers full of dryfit race shirts!

“The race does not go to the swiftest, but to those who keep on running.” –Anonymous