Give 2015 A Running Start

I originally shared this post January 1st, 2015 on the Toronto Waterfront Marathon Blog. View the original version here!stwmlogo_printWith a new year comes opportunity for a fresh start and new fitness goals. For you that might mean finally lacing up those sneakers and experiencing for yourself what all this run buzz is about. To help you kick off 2015 on the right foot, here are my five tips every new runner should consider.

  1. Get Proper Shoes.

Wearing the correct running shoes for your feet is key for both comfort and injury prevention. Visit a running specialty store and chat with a professional about your foot type, gait, and style of running. Running in old or worn out shoes will only lead to pain and injury. With a variety of price points, consider this expense an investment in your health!

  1. Don’t Worry About Your Pace.

As a beginning runner consider your pace goal to maintain an easy or “conversational” pace for the duration of your run. You should be able to breathe easily and carry on a conversation with those you are running with. As a new runner you might also consider starting with a run/walk program, where you run for a certain amount of time, followed by a brief period of walking. This is a great way to get active while building your fitness level and endurance.

  1. Learn Proper Form.

While I often encourage new runners to move in a way that feels most natural to them, consider these points for a pain free upper body.

  • As your elbows pull back, keep your arms bent at 90 degrees with your hands at waist height, where they might brush your hips.
  • Keep your spine tall with your head up, your back straight, and shoulders away from your ears and level.
  1. Sign up for a Race.

One of the easiest ways for me to get motivated (besides tip #5) is to spend money and commit to a race. As a new runner, be sure to set a realistic length goal and give yourself enough time for proper and safe training. Once your race is on your calendar or in your phone, you’ll have something to motivate you on a daily basis. Wondering where to start? I suggest Harry’s Spring Run Off.

  1. Join a Tribe.

Company. Accountability. Speed. Fun. Toronto has an amazing number of run crews each adding something unique to our growing and evolving run scene. Check out the crew’s online presence – can you see yourself with them?, shop around giving each one a test run, and find a crew that works for you, where the runners have similar goals and the workouts fit into your busy schedule. Looking for a place to start? #JoinTheTribe


Running With A Tribe

While running is often thought of as a solo sport, there are many perks to running with others. Whether you’re training for a race, or just wanting to move, here are 5 reasons why you need a tribe!

My Running Tribe

My Running Tribe, Tribe Fitness

1. Motivation.

Get energized and inspired! Running with a tribe means you have your own cheering squad to get rowdy on the highs and supportive on the lows. Whether it’s out during a long effort, sprints around a track, or on race day, having your own tribe gives you that extra cheer you need to run your best.

2. Safety.

Clearly it is much safer to run in a group vs. on your own. If someone in the tribe gets injured or sick, there is someone to help or get help.  When running in a group you may be less likely to be the target of an attacker as there is  power and strength in numbers. Can’t run with others? Then be sure to have yourself a RoadID.

Looking for other safety tips when running in the dark, check out my post for lululemon here!

3. Improved Performance.

When you run with others you can’t help but stick to their pace, meanwhile it turns out they were pushing to keep at yours. When you’re sticking with a tribe that pushes you to run better, improvement is the only option.

4.  Experience.

As a new runner (or even someone who’s been around the block), running in a tribe is a great opportunity to learn from those who are more experienced or have different experiences. Most runners are more than happy to share tips on fueling, recovery, and gear, your challenge will be to take everything with a grain of salt and figure out what works for you.

5. Friends Who Will Enjoy Your Endless Running Rants.

Running in a tribe is a great way to get to know people with similar hobbies and interests. Not only will you already have something in common, after you crush that personal best, or when you want to talk endlessly about your new favourite running shoes or gel, this tribe will actually want to hear it!

If you’re in the Toronto area and looking to run with a tribe. Join my tribe, Tribe Fitness. We host 2 free runs a week, Wednesday at 7pm (5km) and Saturday at 9am (long effort). Details are here! #JoinTheTribe

What benefits have you found from running in a group? Share them in the comments!