You made up your mind – you are ready to start becoming a runner.   What do you need to do first – do you have a clue where to start!??

First of all, go get new sneakers.  More than likely, if you are not regularly exercising, you do not even have workout sneakers, much less running shoes.  Also, if you do have running shoes and you can’t remember when you bought them, it is better to just get new ones. Walk in them for a while before you start.  Most running stores have at least a 30-day return policy, so you can take them home and try them.

Make sure you have comfortable running clothes as well, made of material that is ‘wicking’ that has brand names such as “Cool Max”.  Polyester and especially cotton are not good for working out.  They cause a lot of friction and keep in the moisture, whether it is rain or sweat.  You also might want to invest in rain gear, including a hat. For the winter, you also want to invest in cold weather clothes.

Finally, running willy nilly with no real plan can get you injured.   You can run whenever you want and not allow for the proper rest and recovery, key to beginner runners.  Another option is to download an app for that purpose or to use a cookie cutter plan off the internet or from a book.  Keep in mind that these plans are not specifically made for you; they don’t take into effect your lifestyle, age, injury history, family life, etc.   Hiring a professional running coach is a great way to go as they can answer many of these questions and, just like a personal trainer at the gym, guide you to your initial goals.

Getting a running partner or team is also a great way for accountability – you will let them down if you don’t meet up or just for company.  Who wants to run all the time on their own??  If you can find someone with your ability, that is good, but not necessary.  If they are better, they will make you better.  If they are worse, you force yourself to go slower on your slow days.  It is a win-win either way.

What you don’t want to do is go out and run every day with no plan – you will have the will and gusto at first, but your body may fail you in the end…..and an injured runner is not a happy one….

So now that you have a better idea of where to start, let’s do it.  In as little as 9 weeks, you can be a runner!

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Nickolas Joannidis
Nickolas Joannidis
I have been running for over 35 years, having done practically every possible racing event or distance from the 100 meters through the marathon. I competed in varsity high school cross country and track at Saddle Brook High School in the mid-1980's, varsity cross country and track at Division II Pace University and finished well over 200 road races since then, including 20 marathons with a lifetime best of 3:14:50. I was the president of the Hoffmann LaRoche corporate running team for 7 years, growing the team from 25 to over 90 during his tenure. I coached many of these runners to achieve their goals, whether they were beginners or advanced. In 2011 I was an assistant coach for the Fair Lawn Recreation track team, helping the 10 to 14 year old group. I am currently personally coaching dozens of runners, from beginner levels to advanced levels and getting them to be prepared to meet their goals.

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