Running Renaissance

Top 5 Tips to Start or Return to Running

by Justin Kent, R&R employee and Ambassador, long-distance runner and 2019 Sun Run winner.

A recent New York Times article called running “the perfect sport for a pandemic.” With most of our traditional exercise outlets closed or cancelled, we are experiencing a bit of a running renaissance. I've noticed more people than ever outside running, walking and being active. Even if it's out of necessity, it’s still great to see (as long as the physical distancing guidelines are being followed).
Here's the secret to running: you don’t need any expensive equipment or a fancy home gym, just a good pair of properly fitting running shoes (we can help there ) and a solid route. We’re lucky that in the Lower Mainland of Metro Vancouver that there is an abundance of trails to explore. A few of my favourite spots are Pacific Spirit Park, Burnaby Lake, Mundy Park, and Seymour Conservation Area. These spots can be a bit busy at times, but it's relatively easy to stay the recommended 2 meters apart, and there are lots of new trails to explore.
Recently, I’ve had a few friends take up running and ask me for a few tips to get started. So here is my guide to running for those self proclaimed ‘non-runners’. And just for the record - in our eyes, there is no such thing as a non-runner. 
1. I don’t want to lie to you, running is hard at first.
I’ve experienced this first hand coming off a long term injury, those first couple of weeks are rough. I guarantee you’ll be sore, you’ll feel awkward, and you will not be breathing easily. That’s totally normal! But I guarantee that if you stick with it you’ll come around.
2. Second, ease into it.
One of the easiest things you can do is to do too much. My words of advice for people wanting to get into running is start small and gradually progress the duration of your runs. Walk/jog programs can seem tedious, but are great building blocks for future development. If you’re not a fan of being tied to your watch, switch it up and run from light pole to light pole with equal walking distance between. 
3. Third, set a realistic goal.
It doesn't have to be crazy.  It can be jogging around the block without stopping by the end of month. Getting into that routine of setting a goal and accomplishing it can come in handy down the road and it gives you something to strive for. Plus, once you accomplish that first goal, I often find the feeling becomes addictive and you just want to do more. If you want some accountability, share your goal with a friend or family member (that you live with) and get them to join you.
4. Fourth, stay consistent.
Like many things in life, the more you do it, the easier it gets. As simple as it may sound, the more you run the easier it becomes. The less awkward you feel, the more fluent your strides feels, the more you're in tune with the ground. The tough part is keeping that consistency. It’s also important to note that everyone has good days and bad days. Even professional runners have days that they struggle to get out the door and feel horrible. It’s all about effort and your own sense of accomplishment. Sometimes the biggest accomplishment is just getting out the door.
5. Fifth, enjoy it.
Whatever your reason for getting out the door for a run, enjoy the process. Enjoy the luxury. Enjoy the escape. Keep it fun, mix up your routes, get out on the trails and enjoy the outdoors. It’s amazing how much better you feel with a little fresh air and sweat. 
Visit us in-store or online to get you fitted in the right gear for running.