I recently had an old friend tell me that I motivated him to start running (which is by far one of the coolest things anyone has ever said to me!) and he had a few questions.  So I thought I’d make a page to share what I have learned.  I just got into running about 5 months ago and little by little, this whole new running world has opened up to me.  I had no idea it even existed!

What first got me interested was a flyer I got in the mail for Team in Training.  I had no idea how they even got my name and address, but it peaked my interest.  I checked them out online and even emailed them with some questions.  I had just finished doing a p90x routine (which I HIGHLY recommend to anyone) and needed a new goal.  So, I decided to eventually run a 5k (or 3.1 miles) by the end of the year.  I went out the next day and got the Runner’s World beginner runner book and read it cover to cover.  Since this was in January, I began to run on the treadmill for 2 to 3 miles at a slowish pace (10 min mile).  I also posted a want ad for a running partner on a website for other military spouses and thats where I met Maria.  She convinced me to brave the cold weather.  So, I bought my first running outfit.  It was special material made for cold weather running (who knew?), a jacket, gloves, and hat.  Armed with the right gear it wasn’t that bad!

As we started running outside more, I realized we really needed some sort of pedometer so that we knew how far we were going.  I did some research and decided on the Nike + Band. 

The Nike+ is the best thing since sliced bread for runners! lol…  No really, I’m sure there are better things out there, but for the price, it has been invaluable to me.  Check out this page:
What you need is either the iPod nano, touch, or phone or sports band (I have the band) and then you need a sensor. The sensor comes with the band or you can buy one for about $20.   They make special Nike shoes (any with a Nike+ on them) that have a special place to put the sensor inside the shoe but I’ve also seen ads for holders for the sensor to put on your shoelace if you didn’t want to buy new shoes.  But I got to tell you, I bought some Nike Lunarglides off the website without even trying any on and I LOVE them.  I ran 10 miles in them my first time out and never got the first blister.  They have 300+ miles on them now and still look brand new.  
When you are done running, all you do is plug in the band with the usb port (don’t know how to do it with the phone…i bet its automatic) and it automatically uploads your data.  It will tell you how far you are running and you can look at it as you run, your pace, how long it is taking you, and calories burned.  It is very accurate and will hold up to 30 hours (on the band).  
There is also a community on Nikerunning.com where you can have friends and enter challenges, etc..  Its been a great support system and way of challenging myself.
Once you have the right gear, you will need a training schedule.  There are so many books out there (don’t forget the library!) and magazines that have great advice.  Find the right schedule for you and stick to it.  Consistency is key.  My favorite magazines are Runner’s World and Fitness.
If you are looking for groups to run with (which I highly recommend) check out these websites:
www.rrca.org  *this is the Road Runners Club of America… great site
Also, www.active.com will give you a list of any and all runs going on under the directory.  Its how many of the races require you to sign up, using this website.
www.mapmyrun.com this website lets you find running routes or make and share your own route