Want to become a runner? Here are 5 tips from Colfax Marathon.

The benefits of running are plentiful – running can improve your mood, give you a reason to get outside in the fresh air, provide you with a mental health break, decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease, and did we mention endorphins?

5 Tips to Get Started

If you think you could benefit from a little more of all that goodness, we are here to help. Picking up a new sport can be intimidating, so we asked our friends at Colfax Marathon for their advice. Joni Watkins, Colfax Marathon Ambassador, and Creigh Kelley, Colfax Marathon Race Director, share their 5 tips to get started with a running hobby.

Get the right gear

Being comfortable and having the right support will make all the difference when it comes to running. “It doesn’t need to be anything fancy, but it needs to be right for your body,” Joni explains. Many local running stores will fit your feet for the right shoes. Dress in layers and make sure your eyes and skin are protected from the sun.

Go easy on yourself

When you first get started, give yourself some grace. It’s ok to take walk breaks! Just do what you can. Eventually, your endurance will build, and you’ll find yourself running comfortably for longer.

Access expert resources

The internet is full of resources to get you off the couch and onto a starting line! Colfax Marathon’s website has an entire section devoted to training resources, from beginner to expert. Find one that fits your level and go from there!

Run for a cause

Creigh recalls a time when he was losing steam during a marathon in Paris for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. With 3 miles to go, someone gave him a pat on the back and said, “Thanks for doing what you’re doing for leukemia.” That was just the motivation he needed to finish the race strong. When you’re running for something or someone that is near and dear to your heart, you’ll find it easier to keep going when the going gets tough.

Colfax Marathon makes it easy to find your motivation – they have more than 200 charities participating this year to raise awareness for their cause.

Know Your Insides

Understanding your overall health can help you in any type of physical activity. Issues like low iron or calcium deficiencies can be slowing you down and impacting your performance, and those are issues that can be uncovered by a simple blood screening (we recommend our Blood Chemistry screening.)

Bonus: Colfax Marathon participants get a free Blood Cell Count at 9Health Fair, with the purchase of a Blood Chemistry screening.

No matter how you choose to get active, the benefits of physical activity are hard to dispute. Getting your heart rate up for even 20 minutes a day can help you physically and psychologically. Grab your sunscreen, a water bottle, and get moving!