Running races has exploded in popularity over the past decade; more and more novice runners are signing up for half-marathons, and even self-proclaimed couch potatoes are lacing up their running shoes and signing up for 5Ks.
Whether you regularly run a few miles at a time or can't run more than 10 seconds without stopping, elite runner and 2018 Boston Marathon winner Desiree Linden has some solid training advice for those looking to sign up for a race.
"Get started. That's the hardest part, getting started, and you don't have to have the marathon as a goal," she told POPSUGAR. Since running has become so popular, there are so many different types of races you can sign up for: color fun runs, turkey trots, and any length of race from a 5K all the way up to a half-marathon.
If you are feeling intimidated or overwhelmed at the idea of a training program, Des says to just take it one day at a time. "Just buy the shoes, go out the door, and create a routine — and then running becomes a habit." she said. Before long, running will become part of your daily life.
"If you keep showing up, once you create this healthy habit, you kind of feel lost without it," she added. "So it starts with day one, then the next day, show up and try again and try again, and before you know it, you'll be a lifelong runner."
Getting started with running also means making sure you're equipped with the right gear; namely, a good pair of shoes. Des recommends going to a running specialty store to get fitted for the right type of shoes for your feet, stride, and goals. "Get a real running shoe, and it will get you through the miles," she said.
If you're thinking about signing up for the race, go for it — and be sure to take the training one day at a time.