4 tips to kick-start your running routine

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Running is my jam. To lace up my shoes, turn up my iTunes and go out for a run is something I never regret, even if I don’t feel like it at first. While the whole “runner’s high” thing is still up for debate, I can say I always feel good, even euphoric, after I run. It’s a great way to keep in shape and get the blood pumping.

When I first started running in 2011, I didn’t really know where to begin. I questioned how far I could go before I started gasping for air and how ridiculous I might look running down the street. Finally, I got over all of that and just got started. If you’re looking to begin a running routine, here are a few tips that may help:

  1. Don’t overthink it

Don’t worry about who’s looking at you. Chances are nobody cares as much as you think they do. Don’t expect to be Sanya Richards-Ross your first time out. You won’t be. Don’t let “I’m too busy” be an excuse. You’re probably not too busy. If you have a pair of sneakers and a good sports bra, you’re good. Start with a walk and work your way up from there. With consistency, you’ll be going farther and faster as the weeks go on.

  1. Join a group

There are various running clubs in cities all over the U.S. A quick Google search should bring up a list for your city. Or, if running with strangers isn’t your thing, round up one or two of your friends and run with them. Running with others builds camaraderie, keeps you motivated, and holds you accountable.

  1. Pay attention to what you like

I prefer running outside, hands down. I cannot stand running on a treadmill and I avoid it as much as possible. (This becomes a problem in the winter because, as we all know, Chicago is literally freezing from December through March.) Be sure to try different things and keep note of what you prefer. Do you like running with music or without? On a track or on a trail? Indoors or outdoors? Keeping your preferences in mind will help you enjoy running more, making you more likely to stay motivated.

  1. Sign up for a race

Signing up for a race gives you a very specific goal to work toward. You’ll know that you have to run a certain amount of miles by a certain date. Most people start with a 5K. If you’re just starting out, give yourself maybe 6-8 weeks time to train and then get out there.

You can do it. Happy running!

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