With fewer exercise options available to us over the last few months, we’ve seen the emergence of a Running Renaissance across the country—and we love it! Our friends at Vancouver’s Rackets & Runners do, too, but want to ensure new or returning runners are starting safely. As such, we asked their ambassador (and 2019 Vancouver Sun Run winner!) Justin Kent for his top five tips for a positive return-to-running experience:
tip #1. I don’t want to lie to you, running is hard at first. I’ve experienced this first hand coming off a long-term injury; those first couple of weeks are rough. I guarantee you’ll be sore, you’ll feel awkward and you will not be breathing easily. That’s totally normal! But I guarantee that if you stick with it you’ll come around.
tip #2. Ease into it. One of the easiest things you can do is to do too much. My words of advice for people wanting to get into running is start small and gradually progress the duration of your runs. Walk/jog programs can seem tedious, but are great building blocks for future development. If you’re not a fan of being tied to your watch, switch it up and run from light pole to light pole with equal walking distance between.
tip #3. Set a realistic goal. It doesn’t have to be crazy. It can be jogging around the block without stopping by the end of month. Getting into that routine of setting a goal and accomplishing it can come in handy down the road and it gives you something to strive for. Plus, once you accomplish that first goal, I often find the feeling becomes addictive and you just want to do more. If you want some accountability, share your goal with a friend or family member (that you live with) and get them to join you.
tip #4. Stay consistent. Like many things in life, the more you do it, the easier it gets. As simple as it may sound, the more you run the easier it becomes. The less awkward you feel, the more fluent your strides feels, the more you’re in tune with the ground. The tough part is keeping that consistency. It’s also important to note that everyone has good days and bad days. Even professional runners have days that they struggle to get out the door and feel horrible. It’s all about effort and your own sense of accomplishment. Sometimes the biggest accomplishment is just getting out the door.
tip #5. Enjoy it. Whatever your reason for getting out the door for a run, enjoy the process. Enjoy the luxury. Enjoy the escape. Keep it fun, mix up your routes, get out on the trails and enjoy the outdoors. It’s amazing how much better you feel with a little fresh air and sweat.
In need of running (or other sports) gear? You can shop online or safely in-store at Rackets & Runners, where you’ll find expert shoe fitting (in-store or virtual) to ensure you are totally happy with your purchase. Ready, set, go! —Vita Daily
Win! A $200 Running Starter Pack From Rackets & Runners!)
We have a winner! Congratulations Vicky K. of Vancouver, B.C., who won a Running Starter Pack from Rackets & Runners valued at $200 and including a pair of New Balance Women’s 880 Fresh Foam running shoes, a pair of Feetures Elite running socks, and Kinesys Sunscreen to keep you protected all summer long!