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Guest Writer: Amanda McCracken on “5 Tips to Start Running”

PHOTO: Women running courtesy of WIX

Today's guest writer is Amanda McCracken. Amanda is an accomplished freelance writer, running/triathlon coach, as well as a massage therapist. She fell in love with running at 13-years-old and can now be found running trails around her home of Boulder, Colorado. You can follow her on Instagram @amandajmccracken or on her website at www.amandajmccracken.com.

“5 Tips to Start Running”


Amanda McCracken

Coronavirus has closed down our usual fitness outlets and it looks like the local pools won’t be open for this summer either. So with summer around the corner, never has there been a better time to become a runner.

Running can be intimidating but as someone who fell in love with running at 13-years-old, here are 5 tips in how you can get started.

#1 SET A GOAL -- Whatever the reason you have for running, decide why you want to run. Maybe it’s a distance or time goal. Maybe you want to sign up for a 5k. Before you know it, you too will be addicted to the natural high you get from running.

#2 BUILD GRADUALLY -- Before you try to go run a straight mile, start with a walk/run formula and build. There are a few variables you can play with including: recovery time, run time, terrain (flat or hills) and number of repetitions. After a 10-minute walking brisk warm-up, consider walking three minutes, running one minute, and then repeating a few more times. As you feel like you are building your endurance, you can decrease walking time and increase running time. Be sure to take a rest day after two to three days depending on how much of a beginner you are. The general rule of thumb is not to increase volume more than 10% each week. But listen to your body.

#3 PROTECT YOURSELF -- Before you strap on those five-year-old sneakers you’ve been wearing around town, don’t underestimate how important it is to have new pair of running shoes that fit you. While stores might be closed due to the pandemic, but you can still order online. Running is a relatively cheap sport, but don’t skimp on the shoes. You’ll pay for it in other ways later if you do. Check out this link to learn more about the anatomy of the shoe and how to pick one right for you. https://www.runnersworld.com/gear/a20842305/how-to-buy-the-right-running-shoes/

#4 RECOVER WELL -- Ice what is sore after your run. Self-massage what is tight. You can use a tennis ball or golf ball on those tight spots if you don’t have an extra elbow handy. Even a rolling pin will work on your thighs and calf muscles. Be sure to hydrate before and after your workout. You will recover faster if you do.

#5 BELIEVE IN YOURSELF -- What’s that you say? You’re not a “real” runner. What’s a real runner anyways? Now’s the perfect time to redefine who you are. Don’t let impostor syndrome prevent you from taking that first stride. Need a bit of motivation? Write down “I am a runner” on a note and tape it on your bathroom mirror, microwave, and front door. Say it out-loud as you walk out the door to lace up your shoes.

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