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March 21, 2013
Are You a Runner?

Are you a runner? That is a trick question. Yes, you are a runner. This is like asking, “are you a human?” Your body is perfect for running. The structure of your feet, your body’s ability to sweat over all your skin, the angle of your hips… You were born to run. Humans can run for very long distances, and can out run (over distance, not speed) many other mammals. Our bodies are perfect for running.

You ARE a runner. So why do many of us say, “oh, I am not a runner!” While some people just don’t like running, most of us say this because we find running uncomfortable. It hurts our knees, hips, feet, and body. It is tiring, dang it! Let this not deter you. Running, like any and all types of exercise, needs to be approached carefully and developed slowly. If you have never been a runner you cannot expect to go out and run 5 miles without hurting yourself. You have to ease into your training in order to avoid overuse injuries. Slowly picking up your running will help your body adapt to the demands of the movement and metabolic needs.

Why should you pick up running? Because it is easy. It is convenient. It is a way for you to always get exercise in, no matter what! To run, all you need is the appropriate clothes and shoes. You don’t need a gym. You don’t need a fitness class. You don’t need anything but the desire to take care of your health and body. With running you can just step outside and start going. Below are some tips to help you get started with a running routine!

1. Get the right gear
All you need is shoes, pants/shorts, and a shirt. If you are not sure about what exactly to get, head down to your local runners shoe store. Do not go to your local Champs Sports. Seek out a Runners World, Born to Run, or other local store dedicated to runners. The employees there can help you choose the right shoe (not all feet are made equal), and also recommend shorts, shirts and other appropriate clothes.

2. Start slow
It is crucial that you start slow. If you overdo it by doing too much too soon your body will rebel by giving you an overuse injury. Start by walking. Head out and walk a couple miles. After a couple weeks, increase your mileage to 3 miles a session. Once you are comfortable moving this distance, start to incorporate jogging into your routine. These walk-jogs should last until you can jog through an entire exercise session. After you jogging is feeling good, pick up our speed until you feel you can push yourself while on a run.

3. Set a goal
The best way to get into running is to set a goal. We recommend starting with a 5k. You can set your sights on a half marathon and a marathon, but before crushing those races take the first step by signing up for a 5k. Many people feel that after they cross the first finish line they want to cross another. Setting and accomplishing a goal is a great way to keep you on track. The goals you can accomplish with running are widespread. Again, start with a small race. Complete it. Then shoot for a larger race. Rinse and repeat.

You are a runner. If you are “not a runner”  it will take a little more time to get your body into running shape. You can do it. Get the right gear, start slow, and set your sights on finishing a race!

Stay Strong, Team!

Written by Clark Masterson

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