How to Start a Running Habit – These 4 Steps

The winter may be cold but 5k races are just around the corner. And if you’re interested in becoming a runner, now is a GREAT time to start. So take stride with these best steps on how to start running!

1. Ask yourself why

This is the first and most important step. Ask yourself some questions to figure out what you want to accomplish with this new step. Why do you want to run? Are you in it to lose weight? Do you need a hobby? Do you want a new morning activity? What other areas of your life will be affected by starting this new journey?

You get the idea. Figure out the deeper reasons why this is a positive change for you. Because when you want to hit the snooze button instead of getting an early run in, you’ll need to remember your inspiration. If you’re having a hard time finding your why, talk to a trainer or health coach about these questions and they’ll be happy to give you some guidance.

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2. Sign up for a 5k

This one is EXTREMELY important. While health is a lifestyle, not a destination, it’s important to focus on a destination. Think SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Pick a running event with a reasonable amount of time to train for it, register to keep yourself accountable, and stick to it!

3. Tap into an app (or trainer)

My first suggestion for this is to find a trainer to help you with a program, but your resources don’t stop there. Find an app that’ll guide you on this journey. MapMyFitness or Couch-to-5K are great options. MapMyRun also has running groups so that you can log in and find a local group to run with. Whether you’re advanced or just beginning, plugging in to a local team will motivate the heck out of you.

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4. Buy some new shoes

As the great poet and philosopher Paolo Nutini once said “Oh, I got some new shoes on and suddenly everything is right.” Running shoes will make a HUGE difference in comfort and attitude. Look like a pro, feel like a pro. This is a solid investment, so buy carefully. Most athletic shoe stores have employees that can analyze your feet and tell you exactly what you need.

Ready! Set! Run!

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Luke Andrus is a certified personal trainer, ACE health coach, writer, folk music drummer, husband, and a father. Most of his writing experience is in poetry and fictional short stories, and he also proposed to his wife with a self-published children's book. He is a Narnia nerd with a degree in History, a minor in English, and a semi-obsession with the French language. He believes that fitness is not just about vanity, but about lifestyle, integrity, and the ability to take control of your life.