By TMC HealthCare

‘Tis the season … to start running. Fall in Tucson means pumpkin-spice-everything, shorter days and slightly cooler temps. It’s a magical season and the perfect time to start an outdoor exercise routine, such as running.

We know the thought of running can be daunting, but if you feel inspired to try it, we’re here to help with tips on how to get started from TMC Wellness Manager, Amy Ramsey.

With a little persistence, you’ll be signing up for your first 5k in no time.

Just start: Make a decision that you’re ready to get out there and try. I am a big believer in starting with the run/walk method. Pick a ratio that works for you, such as two-minute walk, one-minute run and so on. This will allow you to cover a bit more mileage in the beginning, which always feels like a win. Soon you’ll be flipping that ratio to more running time overall.

Be consistent: Picking up a running routine that will actually produce health benefits takes commitment. Aim for three days a week to start. You’ll see improvements faster and avoid injury by staying on a schedule, even when you just don’t feel like it. It also teaches your mind to blast through any challenge, whether it’s physical or mental.

Set a goal and give yourself a reason: When motivation wanes, having something on the calendar is always a good motivator to wake up and get out the door. Consider signing up for a charity run or joining a local running group. There are many to choose from right here in Tucson.

Invest in the right equipment: A properly fitted pair of shoes is worth every dime if they keep you from being sidelined by blisters or sore arches. Resist the urge to randomly order something online. Try a local running shop and let them help you. Don’t forget about hydration. Get a handheld water bottle or hydration pack that you’ll actually use. Lastly, don’t overlook my favorite recovery tool, the foam roller. In just a few minutes a day, it can help avoid injury so you can get back out there.

Stop comparing yourself to others: Having been a coach for many years, I have had many clients that allow these negative thoughts to almost derail their own plan and progress. Be proud of your decision to start. There will always be somebody out on the path or on the treadmill next to you that is faster, leaner and “looks” more like a runner than you think you do. Remind yourself that they are following their own plan just as you are. They are at a different part of their journey, and you can get there, too. Wishing you could be like others is a waste of your precious energy. Instead, focus on the progress you are making. You got this!

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