Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Stride Into Summer

photos courtesy of bury-osiol and djiancu

Spring is here and summer isn’t too far behind, the perfect time to start an outside running routine. That doesn’t mean go out and try to run a mile, especially if running is new to you. Leave the treadmill behind, get out and enjoy the nice weather. I’ve outlined a few tips to help beginners get in stride.

1. Just like any exercise program, it is important to set attainable goals. Whether it’s to be able to run for 30 minutes straight or to run at least 3 days a week, set a couple of goals and stick to them.

2. Another important task is to map out a route. I would suggest mapping out a route in your neighborhood, that way you are in familiar territory. Be mindful of various surfaces; remember soft surfaces (grass, dirt) are better than hard surfaces (concrete), but any surface will due in comparison to lying on the couch. If you are uncomfortable or unsure about running in your neighborhood, try areas such as parks, bike paths, to local school tracks to get started.

3. One major investment for any running routine is a pair of suitable running sneakers. Visit any running specialty store for professional help with choosing the correct shoes for your individual needs. You will also want to purchase safety accessories just in case you don’t make it home before sundown.

4. Fluid consumption detrimental to a running routine. Dehydration can be harmful to your body, so be sure to consume 8-16 ounces of water or sports drink at least an hour before running. It doesn’t hurt to take a drink along with your for quick sips throughout your run.

5. The warming up, cooling down, and stretching process is not just for exercise routines, runners should also take heed. A 5-minute brisk walk or light run is suggested before breaking into any run (the 5 minutes does not count toward your total workout time). At the end of your run, try avoiding a sudden stop; instead slow your running pace into a 5-minute walk to cool down gradually, and then stretch your legs.

6. Find a pace that is right for you. Everyone is different when it comes to pace. What I learned from my old running coach is as long as you can talk or sing while running, your pace is perfect, at least for beginner runners.

7. Last but not least, to all beginners, walking is not a bad thing. Every runner does it, even the experienced. Think of it as a type of interval training, making the total run more doable.

By far, I’m no professional runner, but I wanted to share some of the simple tips I’ve learned over the years from playing various sports and being coached by various individuals. Enjoy and let us know how your first few runs go.



I live in a mountain side and it's really hard to walk there so I think I'll be faithful with the treadmill because running will be insane. Great tips anyway but my new location makes it hard to practice your tips.


I could seriously use these tips...honest...must say this came in at the right time :)) So glad you shared :)

Ps: Got your mail...look forward to the post...really like the way approach questions.


This is a great article. I was thinking about running next year but reading this is getting me pumped. I'm thinking about starting now, I just have to make sure that is a realistic goal.


thank you all for your comments.

@llnl, yea, why wait? the sooner the better.

@nivedita, i say the same to you. why not start now, putting the tips to use?

@lazyking, the treadmill sounds good. you can even vary that with the ellpitical or even jump roping.

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