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SO, YOU WANT TO START RUNNING?

You’ve committed to hitting the pavement, but how do you get started? What’s the first step? Running is literally as easy as putting one foot in front of the other, but getting out the door can be the hardest part. These tips may help you have a more enjoyable experience and stick with it longer.

SET A GOAL.
Do you want to run one mile? Complete a 5k? Determine what your running goals are and what you want to accomplish. Having a clear goal will help you stay on track to getting there.

INVEST IN THE GEAR.
Running doesn’t require a helmet, a ball, shoulder pads, or a uniform. But it does require good shoes and socks. Visit a local running specialty store where they will take a look at your mechanics and gait and help you determine the best shoe to wear. Properly fitted shoes that are designed for your unique feet will make running more comfortable and help to minimize injuries.

FOLLOW A PLAN.
There are a number of plans available, such as Couch to 5k Nike+. Having a structured program to follow will hold you accountable and keep you motivated.

START WITH WALKING.
Before you take off sprinting down your street, start with walking. And start small. Set out to do 20 minutes of walking five days per week for several weeks. This will get your body accustomed to moving and exercising so running won’t seem quite as difficult.

TRACK YOUR PROGRESS.
By tracking your progress, you’ll be able to see your improvement, which should motivate you to keep going.

FIND A FITNESS BUDDY.
Enlist a friend to join you on your journey, so you can motivate one another. There are also many running and walking groups around town you can join to have the camaraderie of others.

DON’T GET DISCOURAGED!
Running will get easier with time as your body adjusts to the new stresses that you’re putting on it. It may be tough in the beginning, but reaching your goal, whatever it may be, will make the effort worth it.

Marcia Scott is the Training Program Coordinator at Fleet Feet Sports. For more information call 901.761.0078 or visit fleetfeetmemphis.com.

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