Now that summer is in full swing, you’ll start to see a certain group of people taking over the sidewalks and road shoulders in your town. Runners are drawn out by nice weather, so unless you’ve been caught by the storms lately, you’ve probably seen a great number of people out running. And you may ask yourself “Are these people crazy?” While the answer to this is sometimes “yes,” it’s usually “no.” You may not think that running sounds like much fun, but have you ever tried it? If not, I highly encourage you to pick it up this summer—at least long enough to run a local 5k fun run.
Running, despite what you may think, is actually a lot of fun. You get to spend time outside, get in shape, meet other people, and feel good about the improvements that you’ve made. The thought of “running” might conjure up some terrible images, like people crawling across marathon finish lines or passing out in extreme heat, but this is not the experience that most runners have. Most people who run regularly find it enjoyable, relaxing, and very beneficial. Once you get it through your head that running isn’t just about pain, you’re ready to start running yourself.
If you’re a pretty sedentary person, starting running can be difficult (it is, however, even more necessary that you start to exercise in some manner or another). One of the best ways to motivate yourself to start getting in shape is to sign up for a 5k. There are fun runs almost every weekend in every major city. Look online (Runner’s World has a good race database), find one that fits your schedule, and sign up! You’ll be more likely to get out and run if you know you have an event coming up.
Buy a pair of running shoes (at a running store—you’ll get better shoes and you’ll be sure that you’re wearing the right type, two things you won’t get from a department store) and start walking. Walk for 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 40 minutes—whatever you can do. Even if you can only go 10 minutes at a time, keep walking! Once you’ve done this a few times, you can start mixing it up. Walk for four-and-a-half minutes, and run for 30 seconds. Walk for three minutes, and run for two. Keep running more and more until you’re running for 30 minutes. Once you’ve run 30 minutes a few times, you’re ready for your 5k!
Even though it’s called a “race,” don’t worry about needing to go fast. There are always plenty of first-timers at every 5k, and there are usually a good number of walkers as well. Just get out on the course and go! It’ll help if you have friends that are doing the same run. Once you’re finished, revel in the fact that you just ran a 5k, and start planning your next event!
As always, if you have any questions, comments or funny stories you'd like me to share about college or the blog, email me at email@example.com