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Some helpful tips for beginning runners

We have talked about new year’s resolutions a lot and I have had quite a bit of people ask me how to start a running program. Running or walking are activities you can do anywhere. This county has lots of 5K events coming up and all of them are wonderful fundraisers. Salisbury Rowan Runners, in conjunction with Novant Health Rowan Medical Center and Salisbury Parks and Recreation, has started an evening beginner’s running program this past Monday at 5:45 p.m. Since the cold weather hit us hard, they have opened it back up so you can join them tonight. The program will run through Feb. 24. They will meet at First United Methodist Church on 217 S Church Street in Salisbury. Typically, the first 30 minutes is classroom instruction, followed by 30 minutes of practice. Cost is $65. Besides the instruction, the cost includes a one-year membership to Salisbury Rowan Runners, a club T-shirt and an entry fee to the UMW Run/Walk for Missions 5K. For more information, call Steve Clark at 704-216-2709 or David Freeze at 704-310-6741. But if you are not able to participate in this great program, you can try the following:

Before you start running, make sure you wear shoes that are designated for running. They don’t have to cost a lot, but they have to fit as soon as you put them on. You should not have to “break them in” — those would be the shoes that would never fit right. Run for Your Life stores, Fleet Feet and Omega Sports have treadmills where they record your running/walking to see what shoe should work for you. (Neutral, stability, etc. — more on that next week.)

It is recommended that runners do not start training for races until their bodies have adapted to the strain of running. Tendons and ligaments can be injured too easily if you go from not running to 5K racing too quickly. Remember last week’s column.

Before you start training for your first race on your own, establish a three to six-month foundation of running. During that base stage, slowly build through easy, consistent training runs as your body adapts to the rigors of the road. Salisbury Rowan Runners beginning runners program will guide you through these runs where you are able to get ready for a 5K a lot sooner safely and effectively.

The following workout is for a beginner runner. Try this workout three times a week, with at least one day of rest in between. Cross training would be great to have on those rest days such as weight training, stretching or cycling to name a few.

Week one:

• Walk 5 minutes to warm up.

• Run comfortably until winded (which could be one minute or 10 minutes, depending on your fitness level), then walk until you are not winded anymore. Continue this for 30 minutes.

• Walk to cool down for 10 minutes

• Stretch

Week two:

• Walk 5 minutes.

• Run 3 minutes; walk 3 minutes. Repeat 5 times

• Walk to cool down

• Stretch 

Week three:

• Walk 5 minutes

• Run 4 minutes, walk 2 minutes. Repeat 5 times.

• Walk to cool down

• Stretch 

Week four:

• Walk 5 minutes

• Run 6 minutes, walk one minute. Repeat 4 times.

• Walk to cool down

• Stretch 

Each following week, increase your running minutes and decrease your walking minutes. Before you know it, you will be running for 30 minutes and more.

Make sure you always warm up before and stretch after, which is as important as your running program.

Ester Marsh, ACSM Cpt and Health and Fitness Director JF Hurley Family YMCA

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