Oh your mark. Get set. Go moms, go!
and remains a popular sports fixture throughout the South Sound.
Running is a relatively inexpensive sport. You just need a good pair of shoes and some comfortable, sporty clothes. It's something you can do on your own, with a friend, a group or even a team or club.
Running can be done outdoors (sidewalks, trails, paths, road) or indoors (treadmill, indoor track). With the right clothing, outdoor running can be done in any kind of weather.
Pretty versatile, huh?
Best yet, there's the amazing physical and mental benefits of running. Physically, running keeps your heart and lungs in great shape, keeps your weight down, and builds your muscles. Mentally, a good run can clear your head from all of the noise of the day, help you relax and bring peace to your mind, and gives you a new fresh focus.
Long term, regular running gives you more spring in your step, more energy, and more body efficiency. It also is a key component to many other sports (like soccer, basketball) and it's a great supplement to sports (soft ball, yoga) to keep you fit.
Okay, let's run away with the basics.
For any runner:
Good and appropriate shoes are a MUST. Good shoes protect you from injury. Do your research and find a reputable brand, style, and function that works for you. Your foot must feel as comfortable and stable as possible. In other words, the fit must be perfect. Find a great and knowledgable store (locally, try ) This may take some time, asking lots of questions and lots of trying on shoes. It's OK. Take the time and do it right. When you do find that perfect shoe, stay with the brand, if you can, for replacement shoes (yes, you will need to replace them--click here for running shoe replacement guidelines).
Wear comfortable and flexible clothing that breathes well, keeps you dry, warm or cool (depending on the weather) and doesn't chafe, bunch, droop or fit too snug. Terrific clothing can be found in larger stores (such as or ), speciality sporting goods stores (REI, ) or running stores.
Be safe. Run in well-lit or well-populated areas if you are running alone. Make sure you have equipment or pockets for ID, cell phone, and keys. If you want to run off the beaten trail, take a buddy or run in a group. If you are running in the early morning or at at dusk, wear reflective clothing so motorists can see you. Let people someone know where you are running and your approximate time of return. Run with traffic, not against it (this startles drivers). Besides watching for cars, be vigilant of loose dogs.
Don't try to be tough. Don't tough it out through terrible pain if you feel it. Stop running and seek medical advice. Running on an injury over and over is a recipe for disaster.
Some other tips
Be patient. It takes time to build up endurance. Maybe you can only make it a couple of blocks. That's okay. Keep building.
Make sure you warm up and cool down properly with appropriate stretching techniques. Click here for a good guide.
Consider cross-training. When you are starting out, consider doing some cross-training like yoga, weightlifting, pilates, or a team sport you enjoy. Running day in and day out as a beginner could lead to overuse injuries.
For more experienced runners:
Just like beginners, cross-training enhances your running program, no doubt about it. Also, consider mixing up your running with different running techniques and methods for an added challenge. Click here for some great guidelines.
Whether you are a leisure runner, a beginner or experienced distance runner or marthoner, local races are revving up this spring and summer to show 'em what you've got. Click on the links below to see just some of the cool opportunities around town to run.
Sporty Diva's 5k and 10k Walk and Run (Women only!) at Chambers Bay, University Place, May 14th.
Sound To Narrows, Tacoma, 12K and 5K run and walk, June 11th.
Four on The Fourth, Steilacoom, 4 mile fun run, July 4th.
Tacoma Metro Parks Pub Run Series, 5K run and walk, dates and locations vary. See link for details.
Over the Narrows, 10 mile or 2 mile fun run and walk, September 3rd.