New runners often ask me, “What do I need to know to get started?”  First, find a group to run with; second, be consistent; and third, wear appropriate gear. All of this will help ensure your running journey is successful.

A running group keeps you accountable and makes it more fun. The weather may not always be “perfect”  but knowing your running buddies are waiting for you means you are more likely to show up. Once you get in the habit, you won’t want to stop.

To see progress throughout your training, consistency is important. The more you do something, the easier it becomes.

What do to wear? The two most important items are proper fitting shoes and for women, a good sports bra. These make a big difference in your running experience. Other items will come; make a wish list and reward yourself with a new item instead of a big reward meal. Cotton holds in moisture so try to wear clothing, including socks, that are moisture wicking. Clothing with these properties will keep you drier and cooler.

One other hinderance for new runners is their concern with being too slow.  Remember you are faster than the person on the couch! What truly matters is moving and putting time on your feet. No one else is thinking about how fast or how slow you are, and the beauty of a group is there are paces for everyone. The pace and distance will come.  Just commit to running three days a week or more. You will get stronger as you continue to be committed to yourself.

Another thing new runners do is compare themselves to others. Seeing others progress faster than themselves or being faster than they are, and negative self-talk only hurt you on this journey. Instead, keep a journal (doesn’t have to be anything fancy) and write down how long you ran (time/mileage), intervals you used, how you felt, what you wore, time of day, etc. Looking back at this log will show you areas you need to work on and just have far you have progressed.

The best advice that was given to me and still holds true today is to enjoy the journey and have fun. Love yourself enough to keep doing the things that make you happy and healthy.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13

Kesta is a sales associate at our Ultramax Sports Springfield location.  But, her real passion is as the head coach for our Couch to 3.1 program.  Kesta started running just 3 years ago in 2011 when she was a participant herself.  Since then, she has helped hundreds of others through this very same program!  You won’t find a more passionate and encouraging soul anywhere.