COVID-19 has given the U.S. its third-ever running boom; here are some tips to help give you a running start.
Running is different from most other sports. It is easily accessible, and you really do not need very much. A good sidewalk and a reliable pair of shoes usually does the trick.
The benefits of running are well-documented and goes far beyond physical health. It can help with mental and emotional, too, which are arguably much more important than desired toned legs and an enviable flat stomach.
Now, we are runners. We run when it’s hot out. We run when it’s below freezing. We run up steep hills. We run on uneven trails. We run 3-mile races. We run marathons. We run.
So, you can bet that we run during a pandemic, too.
And the Saucony Team is not alone.
What were once our quiet running routes are now our crowded running routes. We see you all out there, masks on and all, and welcome you to the beautiful sport of running.
Together, we make up the running boom: the third-ever running boom in the United States. That is right, we are all making history.
From what gear you should invest in to how to properly, and safely, start training, let us get into it all. Start your watches and lace up your shoes. On your mark, get set, go.
Make a plan … and stick to it
From beginner to advanced, there are countless training plans out there, which means there truly is something for everyone. In fact, Google “training plans for runners,” and you will see all the goodness that comes up.
You might even be overwhelmed by all the options, which is why many new runners choose to hire a coach, whether online or in-person, to craft something that meets their specific needs. Saucony’s Freedom Track Club Coach, Tim Broe, offers some top advice that he gives to the elite athletes he coaches.
Once you hit your stride, races are the inevitable next step. Look ahead and sign up for a local 5K or 10K at the end of your training plan. Virtual races are the next best option while group gatherings continue to be put on hold. Races will hold you accountable to complete those tough workouts or serve as motivation on the days when lacing up feels like the most daunting task. Because, trust us, you will have those days.
Strava is a good place to start when it comes to virtual races. And, while you’re there, make sure to join the Saucony Run Club for the kudos, camaraderie and so much more!
Buying the right tires
You would never drive your car on the highway with flat tires, right? If you answered no, then we have a lot of questions for you – and should probably hide your car keys. If you answered yes, then that same logic applies to your running shoes. Improper footwear equals a long road of injuries and expensive doctors’ visits. No thank you!
Running sneakers are the most vital piece of equipment in this sport and, depending on your weekly mileage, you should be prepared to replace them a few times a year. We recommend having a few shoes in your weekly rotation.
We also recommend visiting your local run specialty store to get properly fitted. The sales associate(s) will ask you to walk and run and they are trained to look out for what your feet naturally do while walking and running. If all nearby stores are closed, or you’d rather stick close to home, our shoe advisor test is a great option.
A safe run is a good run
OK, you are committed with a plan, but now what? Many – new and, yes, even experienced – runners find themselves in this same predicament. Before you head out the door, set a realistic mileage goal and map out your route. Having a game plan makes it easier to complete the run and, most importantly, more difficult to surrender and head back home.
When it comes to personal safety, we recommend having a point person, who lives in close proximity, to send a quick “Hey, I’m heading out now for my 30-minute run” text message. You know what they say: it is better to be safe than sorry.
This also reiterates the importance of picking the right running loop and truly knowing the route. There are many helpful, free tools and apps to assist with this, like Strava.
You will have ordinary, mundane runs that mean absolutely nothing. Those are the miles when you are completely enraptured by the new Taylor Swift album vibrating through your headphones, just zoning out and turning your brain off. And that is OK.
Other days will be life-defining. Those are the miles when you dig deeper into the well, introducing a part of you that could not appear in any other way. Those are the magic ones. Those are the ones you hold onto.
That’s why we run when it’s hot out. That’s why we run when it’s below freezing. That is why we run up steep hills. That is why we run on uneven trails. That is why we run 3-mile races. That is why we run marathons. That is why we run.
And that is why we run during a pandemic.