The First Step


By Gilbert B. Elwyn

New Year’s resolutions have a knack for sounding good at the moment and not so good beginning January 2nd. Thus, it is October as you are reading this, well past the year’s half-way point, and the good intentions of January 1st have been perpetually postponed if not outright ignored. For those who vowed to improve their fitness during 2007 we offer this monthly column about running.

“The First Step”

The first step is always the hardest – not just for beginners, but also for returning/recovering runners. If you make it out that door and onto the road or path you are a winner, no matter the form, shape, speed, or distance.
One of the joys of running is its relative inexpensiveness. You need a t-shirt, comfortable shorts, and running shoes – this is the one that’ll cost you a bit, but the correct shoe is essential. Consult a running professional for your initial shoes. They can explain the intricacies of pronation to you and suggest the shoe that is right for you. When you find one that is right you, buy multiple pairs as shoe companies love to “improve” or “upgrade” their line. (If you are overweight or have other health issues consult your doctor before beginning any fitness program.)
Don’t try to run a marathon your first day – begin slow and easy. Walk, then set a short running goal (“to that mailbox”), walk again and set another running goal. Do not run if it hurts. “No pain, no gain” was coined by someone who didn’t know the difference between athletic exertion and medical warning signs. Listen to your body.
Run with a friend. Motivation, camaraderie – a friend will make the running easier and more efficient.

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