Running is one of the oldest forms of physical fitness. With everyone cutting back these days outdoor running is one of the best ways to stay in shape if you can’t afford a gym membership right now. Before you get started it’s important that you have the proper tools needed in order to make your workout extremely beneficial. A good friend of mine Jaclyn Mullen recently found a passion for running and since moving to New York from California she has found outdoor running in New York challenging and rewarding at the same time.
I wanted to know why she is now such an avid runner, so I sat down with Jaclyn to get the perspective of an average runner.
NYFE: Why did you decide to add running to you fitness routine?
JM: Nearly three years ago, a friend of mine was turning 30. Rather than buy herself more clothes or go on a trip, she wanted to do something different; that something was run a marathon. Acknowledging that 26.2 miles was no simple feat, she enlisted me as her running buddy. At first, I thought to myself, “I can’t run 26.2 miles. Sure, I played soccer in highschool but I didn’t even like running then.” Yet I knew I couldn’t knock something I hadn’t tried so I agreed to check out the run group my friend was participating in. That Saturday we met with at least 75 other people all divided up into various pace groups. We stretched, I observed what I thought to be fanny packs with water bottles and off we went.
5 miles later, I knew I could run the full 26.2 and here’s why.
1) Our training group used the run/walk method. Run for 4-5 minutes, walk for 1 minute to hydrate then start all over again. This was a great way to rest and recuperate plus ensure we’d finish the distance.
2) HYDRATION. The fanny pack with water bottles is a water belt. I really don’t like running without one. Hydration and the intake of electrolytes is essential to ensure you can complete your run without your body/muscles cramping up. Plus the water belt often has a pouch where you can put money and other personal items such as car keys, you can even clip your cell phone onto it in case there is an emergency and you need to call 911. http://www.fuelbelt.com/
3) Building up for the long runs. So, my friend and I both did not get to run our full marathon; she got injured and the day of my first marathon, it was pouring down rain. I did not have water proof gear so I opted to run the half marathon instead. But I did beat the time I had for the first half marathon I ran to prepare for the full. Preparation is key. Make sure you run a few races before the big 26.2. They can be 5k’s or half marathons. One or two short distance races combined with the proper training can help you prevent injury and prepare you for the big day.
This social media maven is now preparing for another half marathon in April. Jaclyn hadn’t been bit by the running bug at first however she definitely loved it and recently loved running the Central Park loop in New York. “It’s an easy course to follow, it is a challenging run–there are some hills.” says Jaclyn
Running Groups in New York
New York Road Runners: www.nyrr.org
Albany Running Exchange: www.albanyrunningexchange.org (ideal for beginners and college students)
Alley Pond Striders:www.apstriders.org
Brooklyn Road Runners Club:www.brooklynroadrunners.org
Central Park Track Club: www.centralparktc.org
Cool Runners: www.coolrunners.wordspress.com
East River Park Track Club: www.eerunner.hamptonsinfo.com
If you want a running buddy in NYC or need some motivation, feel free to follow Jaclyn on Twitter @jaclynmullen
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