I have been walking for the past three months on a regular basis, but I would like to begin running and complete a 5k race in the spring. How do I get started with a safe program so that I don’t get injured?

It is great that you began with a walking program, you already have laid the groundwork for a healthy start to your running program. There are two things that I recommend to anyone wanting to increasing their mileage: 1) get a good supportive type of running shoe. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does have to fit your foot well. 2) Listen to your body and take it slowly. Typically you will only want to increase your mileage about 10% each week. During the course of a week, you will want to run three non-consecutive days, rest or run/walk two non-consecutive days, rest at least one day and do a longer walk on the seventh day. Don’t feel like you have to always be running, walking is a great way to get the mileage in and if you feel like you can walk/run, then pick up the pace. Rest is also very important and should be included in ANY running program whether you are a novice or an elite athlete.

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