The Who What When Where and How of Running

Who What When Where How Of Running I have been thinking a lot about writing lately, specifically about how a writer can make money out of college. My daughter wants to be a writer and I want to encourage her. But this is neither here nor there because this post is not about writing but about running and the “Who What When Where and How of Running.” For me writing is all about train of thought and one thing always leads to the other. In this case, writing and money lead to journalism and journalism lead to the questions and of course everything always leads back to running.

So, who can run? Almost anybody. Yes, there are exceptions. If you have really bad arthritis or some other limiting factor you may have to find another sport but I heard far too often, “I can’t run because of my knees,” when in fact running may be the answer to your knee problems. Running helps you to lose/maintain weight and in turn is better for your joints than we are lead to believe.

What should we do to get started? I would love to say go out and run and that’s that. But there are some “what’s” to getting started. First, shoes and clothes. Buy yourself a good pair of real running shoes. Get them from a specialty-running store and have them fitted. If you don’t have a specialty running store in your area contact Optimal Running and they will help you. I love those guys. Clothes don’t have to be expensive. I buy mine off the sales rack but I always make sure to buy technical gear because I hate chafing. Speaking of chafing, buy some BodyGlide and lube up any areas you think might chafe.

When should you run? This differs for everybody but for me it is important I get my run in first thing in the morning or I will most likely not get it in. For others, lunch runs are perfect and still others like to go after work or even late at night.

Where should you run? I am a proponent of mixing it up and making it fun. Sure, run in your neighborhood when you don’t have enough time to mix it up but if you want to keep your running fresh, head out to a favorite park, a national monument area or even into the woods along a trail.

And finally how do you run? It seems simple but it isn’t. The basics – start out by running slow enough to maintain a conversation, you can learn to run fast later but for now don’t over do it or you will get discouraged. But there is more to running than pace and putting one foot in front of the other. If you can afford to invest $50-$100 work with a running coach and have him look at how you run and listen to his tips on areas to change. Form can make so much difference to your efficiency and success and starting out with good form is much easier than going back and relearning it later. A good coach would be happy to help a new runner learn proper form.

Running is a lifetime sport. Go to any race and you are sure to see runners well into their seventies and above still out there getting their run in. There are so many reasons to run that I created a whole post on the why’s. But today go get your shoes, and work on getting started on a sport that will truly change your life.

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About Ann Brennan

Ann Brennan is first and foremost a mom of three beautiful children. She is the managing editor of Beyond Limits Magazine and the creator of Ann’s Running Commentary. In 2012, Ann took Ann’s Running Commentary to new levels – first with a segment on the RunRunLive Podcast, chronicling her journey to her first Ironman and second, with a new channel on YouTube. Currently Ann is working on a non-fiction book series and working hard every day to remind people to get up, get active and get out there.
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3 Responses to The Who What When Where and How of Running

  1. The only one I would somewhat debate is equipment – while you *definitely* need to get yourself decent shoes, I would say that other gear like tech-clothes can wait, especially for someone for whom it would be a barrier (or excuse) to getting started. Most people own some sort of ‘gym shorts/shirts’, even if not tech-gear. For a start, that is really good enough – until you start to build up the miles or pace.

  2. Ann Brennan says:

    Michael, I didn’t say this in the article but for women this is an important point. If they feel attractive they are much more likely to be successful. One pretty technical outfit can do that.

  3. Awesome – thanks, I love it! It is amazing how much I have learned about the distinctions between men and women running in the last year or so of being a ‘serious’ runner connected to the community!

    While this is more subtle than some of the safety-based differences, it is still important. I really hadn’t thought about it that way – though it makes more sense that my wife wanted to be sure I had a couple of nice new outfits when ‘shorts weather’ hit this year :)

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