From walker to runner

HealthBeat

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Summertime in KELOLAND means some people are getting outdoors to run races such as a 5K.

Many of those races aren’t just for exercise, but also raising money for a good cause.

Susan Haack has been a runner for the past 10 years, participating in 5K races and even a half marathon. While building up endurance wasn’t easy, she says almost anyone can work their way up to a race.

“My biggest tip for someone starting out running or planning to do a race is find a partner or a group of people to train with that can hold you accountable. And also try and follow some structure, like a training plan, week by week, that can help you a lot,” Haack said.

But like many people, she says there are times when her motivation is lacking. Instead of giving up, Haack finds ways to keep going.

“I usually use running as just a stress relief and I oftentimes listen to music. I play my favorite songs to get me through,” Haack said.

If you’ve had your eye on an upcoming race but haven’t started training yet, exercise specialist Abby Seigenthaler says don’t sweat it. She says beginner programs can be as short as six weeks to get you ready for a race.

“There’s great programs out there such as the couch to 5K where they will suggest starting with a little bit of walking, little bit of running and then you’ll slowly decrease your time walking and spend more time running,” Seigenthaler said.

Because most races take place outside, she suggests training outside when possible.

“You have to just not get down on yourself and don’t be afraid to have to stop or slow down or walk because like I said you have outside factors, you might have the wind in your face now which is slowing you down, you have hills,” Seigenthaler said.

If you started your running journey on a treadmill, experts say it’s not unusual for your speed and distance to decrease right away– but once your body warms up to the outdoor terrain your routine should go back to normal.

“The biggest thing is you feel the resistance of the weather. So the wind, any elevation that you’re going through and with the treadmill you don’t get that. So it’s definitely something you have to get used to,” Haack said.

And most importantly, both women say confidence is your best tool.

For more tips on running a race, click here.

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