Run Your Way to a New You

How to gear up and train for your first run

By Emma Cunningham

It’s springtime and you want to get in shape BEFORE you need that bikini body! Why not take up running? You can do it anywhere and it’s a great way to reduce stress, as well as your chances of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and heart conditions.

Run your way...emma cunningham
Photograph by Mike Baird

Starting out:

If you’ve never run before, your best option is to start with a clinic that will teach you proper form, what equipment you need and how to choose it, and give you training plans that will help you achieve your goals without hurting yourself. One option for beginning runners is Energia Athletics, at 164 Danforth Avenue. Their Begin to Run clinics are eight weeks in length and have start dates on Wednesday, March 10th and Monday, April 19th. They also have free group runs on Tuesday at 6:30pm and Saturdays at 8:30am. Stop by and pick up complimentary route maps so that you can run at your own level and get to know your neighbourhood in a whole new way.


Whether you join a clinic or set out on your own, don’t forget to be safe about your run. Early spring can still have slush and ice on the ground, and remember, rain can be slippery too! When running in unpredictable spring weather, try out some trail runners or all-season running shoes. If you are determined enough to run in bad weather, I advice investing in some extra traction, such as the Yaktrax Pro, an attachment that locks onto your shoes to improve traction and protect you against slips and falls.


Now for the hard part: dedication. The best way to keep yourself running is to sign up for a race. Once you finish your Begin to Run course, Energia Athletics has clinics that train you up for specific races. Check out the 5K/10K clinics in April for the Harry Rosen run on April 3rd, or August to gear up for the Toronto Zoo run in October! Once you feel the exhilaration of racing, I know you’ll find it so much easier to stick to your training.­­

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