Updated: Mar 24, 2022
Run for the right reason. That's the best piece of advice I could give you if you're thinking about using running as a positive way to improve your life. It's the one tried-and-true method of starting and sticking with running that I've used, and one I've used with my clients.
However, even with my experience and expertise, I still get nagging questions. I thought it would be easy to answer a few of these here. My guess is that if you're reading this column about outdoor #running, you're thinking about it. Hopefully, it helps!
IS IT BETTER TO STAY INDOORS, OR SHOULD I HEAD OUTDOORS?
That's up to you. I struggle running on a #treadmill. It's boring. I can't find a good flow on the treadmill because I'm staring at all the data in front of me. I find that #workouts outside, in the cold, can be invigorating. It's easier for me to get in the flow.
ANY TIPS FOR A TRUE BEGINNER FOR OUTDOOR RUNNING?
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?
Several thin layers of clothing helps trap warm air keeping you considerably warmer than if you were to wear one heavy layer. This includes socks; wearing two pairs of polypropylene socks keeps your feet warmer and drier than one heavy pair. There's plenty of high-tech fabric out there. Materials such as #polypropylene, #Capilene, and some wool/synthetic blends wick #moisture away from your body and keep you as warm and dry as possible. You'll need a waterproof windbreaker, or shell, to keep protect you from the wind. Keep your exposed skin as covered as much as possible. This also means a hat and gloves!
IS IT SAFE TO RUN OUTDOORS? EVEN IN THE SNOW?
It can be. Be aware of your surroundings and make sure you have reflective gear, and lights, if possible. Keep calm, too. Don't react angrily to stray dogs, absent-minded pedestrians, or motorists. You're out there to have fun and get #healthy, not fight. Choose a well-lighted street that you're familiar with or a trail system that is groomed for the #winter.
WHERE CAN I FIND GOOD PLACES TO RUN?
Ask your local running groups, or running stores. There are several well-organized groups in the Greater Lansing area that are always looking for new members to go with them #outdoors, no matter what the weather. They'll be a treasure-trove of information and help guide you on your running.
There's never a better time than the present to get in shape. A proper diet, weight-lifting and cardiovascular conditioning, like running, are great ways for it to happen. Have fun with any outdoor running adventure, and be safe!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alec Faber is a certified personal trainer and owner of the Fitness Coliseum in Owosso.