Gearing Up: Expert Running Tips

These running tips from local experts will help you get started on your first 5K.

running gear

Photo by Kang Kim. Prop styling by Robin Reilly/TEAM. Black + Blum “Eau Good” water bottle with charcoal filter, $20, Wild Goose Chase; “Minimus Zero” sneakers, $110, New Balance; Nike+ sports watch with GPS, $169, Heartbreak Hill Running Company; iPod Shuffle, $49, Apple Store; “Quad Driver” custom headphones, $525, 1964 Ears; NRG bar, $2, Whole Foods.

Will you be cheering on the Boston Marathon runners and watching the Sox from a bar on Boylston St. this year? No judgement. Get in the game with these expert running tips so maybe next year people will be cheering you on.

Set Small, Attainable Goals

Before you run a 5K, you have to run your first 1K, then a 2K, says Boston College assistant track and field coach Tim Richie, who recently finished fifth at the U.S. Half Marathon Championship and hopes to finish in the top 10 in this month’s marathon. “Keep track of what you do, and put it in writing.”

Mix Up Your Routine

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center orthopedic surgeon Joseph DeAngelis says that the best way to keep injuries at bay is to perform a variety of movements. “Don’t overdo one particular thing,” he says. DeAngelis recommends alternating running with yoga, Pilates, and swimming.

Look the Part

Dan Fitzgerald, co-owner of South End Athletic Company and Heartbreak Hill Running Company, says that when shopping for a running shoe, you should come dressed to hit the streets (so you can take new kicks for a test jog), and bring your old sneakers with you: “This helps us see what you’ve run in and what the wear pattern is.”

Make a Public Commitment

If other people know you’re running, then you’ll commit more completely, says Jeff Brown, a psychologist for the Boston Marathon medical team and an assistant professor at Harvard. “Once we throw down the gauntlet socially, we’re more apt to follow through,” he adds.