Start Running Smart Running – Fitness – RI Fit Mag


by Eric Longergan

At Rhode Runner our favorite program we’ve created is our Beginning Running Group. We start from scratch and train folks to complete their first 5K.  On June 13th our spring group completed the Gaspee Days 5K! So in honor of our Beginning Running Group finishing their first 5K we thought we’d share a few tips about training for your first 5K, here are some things our group learned during their training.


To reduce injuries and increase confidence starting with a run/walk program is key to building up to your first 5K. With our program we start with 1 min of running followed by 1 min of walking 10 times. Throughout the 12 week training session the running time will increase and walking time will decrease. When you reach the end you’ll find it easy to complete your first 5K!


Running with friends is always way easier! Meeting someone helps hold you accountable and give you someone to chat with while working out. Don’t have any friends who run? Well we’ve got plenty! Join our beginning runner group and you’ll meet folks who are just starting out on the same journey.


Warming up properly is one of the most effective ways to reduce injuries. Walking and static stretching are not enough to warmup the muscles for running.  Physical Therapist Mike Silva of Foundation Performance recommends a including a few exercises such as those below.

Tigger Walk – Named after the Winnie the Pooh Character the Tigger walk is where you walk across a room or 10-15 steps trying to get as high on your toes as possible.  This activates the back of the leg and bottom of the foot.

Heel Walk – Just as it sounds you’ll walk across the room or 10-15 steps with your toes pointed up as far as possible to activate the shins and stretch the calves.

Hamstring Kicks aka Monster Walk – Pull your knee to your chest kick your foot out until you feel a gentle stretch behind knee.  This will activate that hamstring muscle so you’ll be ready to run.

These are just a few great exercises to add to your warm-up routine to check out a video of a few exercises visit:


“Yeah, yeah you’re just saying that because you sell shoes!” Whether or not you buy your shoes at Rhode Runner (we suggest you do!) it’s important to find a shoe with the proper support and fit characteristics. Your local run specialty store is a great resource as we’ll provide a gait analysis to find you the most comfortable shoe possible and answer any running related questions you may have.


Beginning to run can be a very challenging endeavor but when you cross the line at your first 5k it’s well worth the effort! The key to having a good time is to relax, meet new folks and be open to new challenges. Remember the first step is always the hardest!

If you would like to take part in our Fall Session of the Beginning Running Group shoot me an email at [email protected] or stay tuned to our Website and Facebook Page for updates.

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