Finding Fitness: Running

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I began running in 2014 as a way to lose a few pounds and be healthier. I started walking at first and gradually I realized, “Hey, I am walking so fast I can probably run.” And so my walking progressed to running. After a few months of running consistently, I looked into running competitively in local events.

It isn’t about how fast you can run or how far you can run. Pacing yourself is most important. There are even running apps that help you start the process, such as CouchTo5K. It does exactly what it says: helps the new runner or the rusty runner go from sitting on the couch to running a 5K, which is 3.1 miles. If your goal is to run farther and faster, there are also apps that help you train for longer distances such as a 10K, half-marathon or full-marathon.

Running provides several benefits. It burns calories and fat and tones your muscles. It gives the runner a sense of accomplishment once any given distance is completed, especially if an event provides finisher medals. The finisher medals are my favorite part and I love seeing how each event designs its respective medal.

Another benefit of running is that you can run anywhere. If it’s raining, you can go to the gym and run on a treadmill. You can run in a park and you can run on the sidewalk. Even if you are traveling, you can always run wherever you are staying, if it’s safe.

Annually, NSU hosts several race events. Among these are the upcoming Sallarulo’s Race for Champions on Nov. 5, 2016, as well as the Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell Run on Dec. 10, 2016. Registration fees for most races contribute to a cause, which is another benefit of running competitively.

For a complete list of South Florida running events visit sfrunningforum.com/Calendar.pdf. The calendar is updated regularly with new races.

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