As the weather turns warmer and the sun shines just a little brighter, I’m sure everyone agrees that it’s hard not to get the itch to get out and become the best distance runner since Steve Prefontaine! If this isn’t you, that’s okay, there’s still time to change your mind and if you don’t know who Steve Prefontaine is, you should fire up the Google Machine and take some quality quarantine time to get educated!

But in all seriousness, as the weather gets warmer, our programming will shift to have a lot more running volume in it and it will take some time to adjust and get used to. On top of that, there will be a lot of opportunities for both runners and non-runners to take part in a road race or a trail run whether it be for competition, fundraising, or just some good ‘ol fun. Whatever the reason, we have a few tips for you to keep in mind before you get started and as you progress:

  1. Shoes Matter – they don’t need to be the highest priced shoes on the shelf, but make sure you are running in a pair of shoes that fit well, are supportive, and have some life in them. The Nano’s, Metcon’s, etc., that you wear everyday in the gym aren’t built for high mileage. There are some incredible local stores in town such as 605 Running and Runner’s Block that do a great job with finding the best shoes for you and they often have some good sales too!
  2. Build a Foundation – before going out to run your first 5-miler, make sure to get in some shorter mileage runs. Your feet, shins, hips…pretty much everything will appreciate it. Being in great gym shape is not the same as being in good running shape, even the transition from a treadmill to outdoor running will take a little time.
  3. Mix Up Your Mileage – contrary to popular belief, the best way to get better at 3 mile runs is not constantly going on 3 mile runs. Much like how we train in the gym, variance is what keeps your body making consistent progress. Interval training, short explosive runs, long paced runs, and everything in-between will help minimize burnout and maximize the efficiency of your training.
  4. Monitor Your Volume – if you’re adding a 5k program to your training, you most likely will need to bring down the volume of the rest of your training, especially in the beginning. If you have been going to the gym for a daily WOD 4x a week all winter and then attempt to keep up the same volume in the gym while adding running 2-3x per week, your body will let you know it’s too much. Everything adds up!
  5. Find a Buddy – much like inside of the gym, the best way to stay accountable and keep things fun is to find somebody to join you in your training. One of the best reasons running is so popular is the ease in which you can train with someone else, without ever actually training with them. You don’t need to be doing the exact same workout at the exact same time to be doing it together and having someone to bounce your successes and failures with is always a lot more fun than going at it alone.

There are many other things that can help make anyone the best runner they can be, but our goal is not to over complicate it. At the end of the day, running should be simple and fun, it’s probably the first form of exercise we all did as a kid. If you do feel like you need some extra attention, feel free to reach out to a coach to ask for some specific advice and attention, we would love to help you out!