How to Get Started as a Runner

So you’ve decided that you want to take up running. Awesome! But with all of the different choices and running styles out there, where to begin?

1. Get proper shoes. Running doesn’t require much equipment. All you need are shoes, workout clothes, and a place to run. Which pretty much makes shoes your most important equipment. That’s why it’s so critical for you to wear the shoes that fit your body and running style. Or lack of shoes, if you decide to try barefoot running, but more on that in future posts.

If you’re starting to run for the first time, visit a running specialty store. They can give you a foot evaluation to see if you over or underpronate and recommend a few shoes for you. You can try them on in store and even take them for a test run around the block. It’s usually a little pricier in store than online, but the level of customer service and the peace of mind of knowing you have the right shoe for you is well worth the time and money. Think of it as an investment in your health! Ehh? Not so pricey now, is it?

If you’re in San Francisco, here are some of my favorite running stores:

Fleet Feet San Francisco
2076 Chestnut St.
San Francisco, CA 94123

On the Run
1310 9th Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94122

Runner’s World has a nifty running store finder as well. Check it out.

2. Register for a race. That’s right. Even before you start running, sign up for an event! Setting a goal gives you something to strive for. It’s more concrete, so it boosts your commitment and motivation. Once you’ve forked over your registration fees, the race is going to happen, whether you’re prepared or not. I.e., once you’ve paid your dues, you’re gonna pay your dues. Know what I mean? Nothing like an approaching deadline to give you a kick in the toosh! Sign up for a race and you’ll have more reasons to continue and fewer excuses to quit.

Running in the USA has a neat Race Menu, where you can find events by state, and then narrow it down by event and month. Hmm, I’d like to order the ultra marathon, please. And yes, can you supersize it?

In all seriousness, a 5K is the perfect distance for running newbies. It’s short enough for most people to be able to finish, regardless of fitness level, yet long enough to be brag-worthy.

So there you have it, sports fans. The first steps (pun intended) of your fresh new running career.

Have any tips you’d like to share with other running newbies? Do you have a favorite running store or event you recommend? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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