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Over the past few months, many of the clients at S.W.E.A.T. have begun showing interest in running. I personally, am one of them, and I have to say that I never, EVER, thought I would begin this path.

I was not the only one at the studio just a few months ago taking the most challenging classes and yet saying “I can’t run. I’m not a runner.”

Many of my friends from S.W.E.A.T., who are runners and were training for the Scranton Half and various 5Ks, would tell me I could be if I wanted to put in the effort.

At the time, I didn’t feel like I was up to the challenge. Then when I began thinking maybe, just maybe I could try, I didn’t know where to start.

That sounds crazy, right? To not know HOW to start running… Well as crazy as it sounds, there are a lot of people who just don’t know how to start or how to stick to it.

I turned to our wonderful leader, Jessica Sands, and she gave me a little advice.

She encouraged me to follow a running program and start small. She told me not to expect to be able to run five miles (or even one mile) the first day.

The program I chose has me running in intervals and walking at a fast pace in between. This allows my body to get used to running and helps me build up endurance.

I have only been at it for a little over a month. I have not given up any of my S.W.E.A.T. time to run so I have only been able to try once a week. Of course, my training and my learning curve are going to be a little slower than some, but as long as I am sticking to it and cutting down time, I am making progress.

Every one starts at the beginning - S.W.E.A.T. FitnessEven though I have only been trying for a few weeks, I have already learned a few things that may help other beginners out there.

Run with a buddy
I’m sure you have heard this one a thousand times, but running with a buddy will help your workout immensely. Running with a buddy, especially one who is at least a fitness level ahead of you, will help you push your limits. I never thought I would make it through my first 5 mile walk/run, but thanks to my running buddy, I did. (And I came back for more 🙂 )

Running with someone also makes the time go faster. You might not even notice you ran in intervals for 5 miles because you were talking the whole time. You will also pick up little tricks from running with someone. He or she might tell you how to breath better or not to let your shoulders hang up by your ears.

After my first try running, I thought for sure my fitness and endurance level was worlds behind other beginners. I talked to Jess and she reassured me that it’s not uncommon to be unable to make it one lap around a track at a jogging pace. Following a running plan and using intervals of walking, helps build up the endurance you need to keep going. After a few attempts on my own, my biggest struggle was to push myself to keep going once I got tired or bored. I knew I wouldn’t do it alone so I asked someone to be my running buddy. Now I have one less thing to struggle with and my run is actually enjoyable. (Run? Enjoyable no way!…the non-runner me still thinks I am crazy.)

Ask for advice & ignore the haters
If you are worried that you are doing something wrong when you run or you have pains that you think are uncommon, don’t be afraid to ask a fellow runner for advice. Everyone wonders if they are breathing correctly when they run. Your friends will surely offer some tips.

Another thing to keep in mind if you are just starting to run is family or friends may think you are a little crazy. Other non-runners will be in the frame of mind that you once were. They may say “5 miles? You won’t be done until 9 p.m.” Well prove them wrong!

When I finally decided to begin running, it was not because I dreamed of running a half marathon with my friends or even a 5K. Just two years ago, I never would have seen myself taking classes like Max Burn or R.I.P.P.E.D. Taking on those classes and the challenges that they bring, gives me the confidence to take on this challenge and believe I can accomplish it to the best of my ability. I may work my way up to a 5K; but just the weekly routine of running, is an accomplishment in itself, for me.

Whatever your goals may be, you have to actually try before you can reach them, right?  Find a running buddy and get going!

Feel like giving running the ol’ college try? Sign up for the S.W.E.A.T. Fitness Walk/Fun Run to benefit the new studio (and buy a t-shirt)! It’s on September 14. More details to come.

-Aimee, blogger for  S.W.E.A.T. Fitness StudioReBath Northeast and Edward’s Garden Center