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“Anybody can be a runner… We were meant to move. We were meant to run. It’s the easiest sport.” Bill Rodgers

Damon Jackson running in the Richmond MarathonCongratulations! Considering running or power walking as a means to remain or get healthy is a big decision and we’re here to provide you with the tools to make you successful.  If you haven’t run since high school or college or if you never ran the information provided will help you. We want you to engage running/power walking at a comfortable pace. We will support and encourage you as you take this journey. Our support will come in explanations and demonstrations, not drill Sargent barking and testosterone boasting. We understand you will set your own running/walking goals and will need support and guidance to reach your goals and that is what we do.

Running and power walking can strengthen your cardiovascular system, increase bone density, and improve your mental mood when done on a regular basis. It’s important that you begin to see running and power walking as fun activities that you look forward to instead of activities that you have to do. That may seem difficult in the beginning however, if you follow a structured plan running and power walking can be fun.

 Let’s Get Started

Step 1. The first thing you should do before you begin a program of running/power walking is to have a visit with your doctor. Let your doctor know what you plan on doing so they can best advise you on how to begin safely. If you suffer from hypertension running may not be the best option for you right away. Your doctor may recommend power walking for a set amount of time and at a certain pace.

Step 2. Get fitted for the right shoes. Running is inexpensive as it requires, running shoes some workout clothing and a road to run on. However, you must have the right running shoes or you risk some serious injuries. We recommend that you go to a store that specializes in running. Make certain that they have you run on a treadmill with a camera so they can record and playback your running style. This way they can recommend proper running shoes for you that will help you run/walk better.

Step 3. Set your Goal(s). Your goal is what you want to achieve in a set time frame. You may want to run for 30 minutes non stop or run a 5K in 3 months. Whatever goal you set write it down so you can see it often. You may also decide to set a big goal and several smaller goals that you will accomplish along the way to accomplishing your big goal. We recommend that you make your goals related to running/power walking and not goals like weight loss. When you begin running/power walking your weight may fluctuate and if you focus on weight you will have periods when you may become discouraged because you are not losing weight fast enough to meet your weight loss goal.  Focus on the health benefits of running/power walking like getting stronger, building endurance, lowering your blood pressure, and sugar numbers without having to use medication and the weight will come off as well.

Step 4. Keep a run/walk journal. Keeping a journal of your running/walking activities will allow you to track your progress and see how far you’ve come on your journey. You should keep journal entries of the days you work out, how far you ran/walked, what was the weather like and what you ate that day. You will begin to learn that the weather and what you eat affects your run/walks and by keeping the journal you can learn what foods help your run/walks and what foods you  should avoid before your run/walks. Read our Blog post for more about keeping a run journal.

Step 5. Join a running club or Get a running coach. Of course we want you to join Run2LIVE, however, if we do not have a chapter in your area then we suggest that you join a running club that have certified trainers or get a running coach. Running can be a solitary event and you don’t have to run in groups or run when the group meets. Yet there are benefits to running with a group especially in the beginning  A good running club will motivate, inspire and assist you with becoming a better runner. Running clubs can answer a lot of running related, training and nutritional questions that you may have.

The other reason we want you to join a club with certified trainers is we want you develop a good running form so you can avoid injuries.  It’s very difficult to enjoy running/power walking if you keep getting injured and most injuries can be prevented by having a coach teach you the best way to run. Additionally, certified coaches can assist you with proper nutrition and other exercises to help you become a better runner/power walker. You also want to join a club that has insurance for group runs either through Road Runners Clubs of America (RRCA) or through an insurance carrier. This is to protect you and others.

Running Resources:

There are a lot of good resources to assist you with meeting your running/power walking goals. Here are our favorites.

Runners World – Very good source for beginner runners. They cover running, training, nutrition, running gear etc.

Black Doctor.Org – Running requires good nutrition and exercise and this website offers god information on both with a focus on Black Men and Black Women.

Jeff Galloway – His training method of Run/Walk/Run is used by thousands of runners even marathoner and is touted as an excellent way to run faster with less injuries or to recover quicker from running related injuries. Our Executive Director is using the Run/Walk/Run method for his first marathon.

Strength Running – Learning to run longer, further, faster and without constant injuries is what strength running is about. A great Blog and very useful tips.

Running Organizations:

Road Runners Clubs of America (RRCA) – This running organization is dedicated to supporting the growth of grassroots running clubs, training programs, and running events while promoting the common interests of runners throughout the United States. If you are looking for a running club in your city look here 1st.

National Black Marathoners Association – You don’t have to be a marathoner to join this group however, the information, encouragement and support from the members is the reason you want to be apart of this group. They share a lot of great information in their Facebook Group for all levels of runners.