When I first thought about “becoming a runner” I didn’t have a clue where to start. I saw all my friends doing it and I wanted to do it too!! I know what you’re thinking, “If they jumped off a cliff, would you do it too”? Probably, if the cool kids were doing it!! I thought all one needed to become a runner was to throw on some athletic shoes and hit the pavement. I went to a running store for shoes; they watched me walk barefoot and told me I needed a neutral shoe. Ok, whatever you say, you’re the expert. They brought some shoes out for me to try on. They were ok but none of them were spectacular and I balked at spending $100+ on a pair of athletic shoes. So, I went to a sporting goods store, where I chose a pink pair of shoes because they were pretty and affordable. Newbie mistake #1!! When I started having low back pain, I never attributed it to my shoes, I just stopped running altogether.
About a year later, I decided to get serious about running again. I ran a couple of races in those pretty pink shoes but started having pain again so this time, I turned to a different running store for help and that was the best decision I ever made. They watched me walk barefoot and filmed me running on a treadmill. I was again told I needed a neutral shoe and was shown several choices. This time, I chose a shoe based on the way it felt on my foot. In addition to shoes and highly trained fitters, that running store had an array of gear and a training program for beginning runners. I signed up for that program the following week and I was on my way.
So, if you’re thinking about running but don’t know where to start, here are some tips:
SHOES: I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a new, properly fitting pair of shoes!! The wrong shoe can cause injuries. Shoes are expensive but much cheaper than MRI’s, co-payments, x-rays, etc in the long run.
I’m sure I’m forgetting a lot of important info, but this will give you a good starting base. Most importantly, good luck and have fun!!