Now that we're getting glimpses of warmer weather, you may want to take your fitness program outside and run!  it's the perfect opportunity to break out of winter hibernation, can be a great motivation and it's free!  

Running is great for consistency.  You don't have to worry about missing workouts as your shoes can travel with you on business or vacation and it adds to variety.   Running can also be adapted to fit a broad range based on your fitness level, time and goals.  Choose it as a solo venture to unwind with quiet time for thought or make it part of a group activity to add more of a social component.   

When it comes to running, motivation isn't tough to find.  There are informative websites packed full of information on training, selecting shoes, technical tips and choosing events.  Running events can be an amazing way to set goals and stay on track with your program.  They give you a reason to run!  

There are countless events all year but they really peak over the summer.  They offer walk and run distances that make it accessible for everyone and often have trade shows, health fairs and other events that can make them great travel destinations to book some vacation time around.   

Getting started with gear  

1. Shoes 

Step one really is shoes.  What to choose will depend on your foot, gait and your goals.  If you go to store that specializes in running, they'll be able to assist in selecting.  I've posted more specifics on my websiteyou can download, but here are some things you will need to look for: 

  • Heel cushioning.  A good 'heel counter" will provide support and stabilization.
  • Stability and space.  You need stability but space in a running shoe with room in the toe box to allow your toes to spread when you push off. 
  • Flexibility.  A running shoe should bend to accommodate for the movement of the foot during motion.  -          Gait specific support.  Do you pronate (roll inward) or supinate (roll outward)
  • Low heel profile – chunky heels (as many running shoes have) create more of a fulcrum and cause you to slam down on your forefoot harder forcing your shin muscle to work hard to brake the action – again, possibly bringing on a shin pain     

2. Attire 

This can be the fun and the expensive part!  Remember, you don't need a lot of variety, but a few good pieces of technical wear can ensure you are protected from the elements, safe and comfortable.  I'll have more details on my website, but here are some basics to consider:  

  • Layer  1 - Wicking.  Whether a long or short sleeved shirt, most are now made of technical fabrics that draw moisture away from the skin.  They also can come with reflective qualities as added safety. 
  • Layer 2 - Warmth.  Depening on the time of year and day, temperatures can vary from the start to end of your walk or run.  Choose a tech fabric that adds insulation without bulk. 
  • Layer 3 - Weather.  A jacket or shell can help protect you from rain and wind.  These, again, are light and mostly have reflective materials for safety. 
  • Extras.  Technical design goes into so many elements including socks, hats, gloves and more that can add more comfort, warmth and safety to your run.   

Getting started with training

  • Whether you're just starting out or a veteran runner, there's always new information, technical tips and gear to help you with training.  I'll post some basic training outlines for 5 k, 10 k and half marathons, but here are some tips to direct you to some great resources from your neighbourhood to the world-wide web:  
  • Find a training program that fits based on your current fitness level and goals. 
  • Stick to a plan.  More is definitely not better when it comes to running as it can significantly increase your risk of injury.  
  • Look local.  Running and event sites both have lots of training information but check in your area as well.  There are many running groups and stores that are particular supportive of new runners from choosing gear to getting you on the right track with technique and training. 
  • Track it.  Whether on a hard copy calendar or wearable technology, keeping a journal is always recommended with a running program to help you with training and motivation.

Getting started with an event

  • Find something fun - for both destination and distance.
  • Check out event websites.  They are now packed with information about the race and what's included but also have training programs, tips about the route and any other inclusions like trade shows, massage,  grab bags.
  • Make it social.  Fitness shouldn't be time away from friends and family.  From 2k walks to full marathons, there really is something for everyone and the atmosphere really is like a party! 
  • Great causes.  So often events are in support of a cause which can add to your motivation when you don't feel like taking another step. 

Spring really is an ideal time to think about a running program and you don't have to tackle it on your own.  There are so many resources plus runners everywhere can be an amazing source of information and motivation - they so often love to share their passion and experience.  For more tips on running and outdoor gear, click here.  We'll be starting a 30 Day Challenge at libbynorris.comcoming up in May to help feel energized heading into the warm weather season.  Sign up for more details or simply visit weekly for tips and information.  More details coming soon!