You Can Become a Runner
With the right training, even beginning joggers can get ready to go for the gold
Step 3. Find a running partner or group.
Once your doctor has given you the 'all-clear,' the next step is to find
someone to train with. "Partners and groups are motivating because you are
accountable to a group and pushed by people -- some of whom are better than
you," Kaehler says. "If you can't find a club, then try to find a
running partner who is equivalent to your fitness level." Local running
stores and your local runner's club can help you find groups. Many major road
races, particularly marathons, also have classes for the benefit of runners
training for their event. The park and recreation departments in many cities
often provide jogging programs for interested parties. In addition, many
charity organizations, notably The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In
Training, offer training programs and help runners raise money for the
Step 4. Dress for success
Though clothes do not make the runner, there is no substitute for the right
running shoe, Maharam tells WebMD. "There should be about a thumbnail's
length between the longest toe and the end of the shoe. Without this much
space, you can lose your toe nails," he cautions. Your best bet is to go to
a specialty shop to buy running-specific shoes because the staff will better
trained at fitting them. Replace your running shoes every 350 to 500 miles
because they lose shock absorption and other protective qualities with use.
What's more, "make sure you choose synthetic socks," Maharam says.
"Unlike cotton, synthetic material wicks away moisture and fluid;
preventing blisters and the wearing away of your feet."
Step 5. Train to train
"Most people start running with a health or fitness goal in mind such as
losing weight or being healthier rather than a specific race," says
master's champion runner and coach Gordon Bakoulis, author of How to Train for
and Run Your Best Marathon. "You should really be doing a base of 10 to 20
miles a week before you start training for your first long run." Once you
have established a baseline, then training can begin. Remember that the amount
of time it takes to train for a race depends on the distance as well as your
fitness level, she says. In general, marathon training can take anywhere from
six months to a year.