Running is so much more than tennis shoes, pavement, and sweat. It is discipline, focus, and balance.  It is patience and stamina, endurance and strength. It is joy and victory. You see, running is a lot like living. So what are you waiting for? Put aside the weight of doubt, fear, and anxiety–those things that hold you back — and run!

Before you grab your sneakers, here are 5 tips that might help–

Invest in a good running shoe – Getting fitted for your first pair of running shoes from a local running store is a great idea. They definitely know what they’re doing and will find a shoe that will work for you.. You can also research online, read reviews and join online groups with other beginning runners.

Stretch before and after your runs – Actively stretching loosens your body and prepares your mind for running. Stretching may also prevent injuries that become an annoyance and can delay your running routine.

Start Slow – Be patient with yourself. Moderation really is key. Begin with a walk-run-walk-run pattern at first. Be present in the moment. Don’t think about the mile ahead, the 5k, or the 10k. Don’t worry about your time. Just feel your feet striking the pavement. Breathe. Relax your shoulders; let them drop. Know that you are able, capable. Have a “can do” attitude.

Location is everything – Pick a place that works for you. Maybe it’s the treadmill in your living room, so you can keep an eye on your toddler. Maybe it’s the street you live on. It could even be the walking track at the community center or local gym. We love anywhere outside–a nearby neighborhood with large oak trees and landscaped yards, a nature trail.. anywhere that works for you that you ENJOY.

Find a running buddy – Find someone who is disciplined, motivating, and encouraging. Someone who will hold you accountable. You can also look for a group in your area. There are running clubs EVERYWHERE and they include beginning runners to marathoners so you’re sure to find someone who runs at your same level/pace. You can just google “find a running club near me” – Easy. done. 🙂