The mere thought of running is enough to keep some people far away from it. But once you get started, you may not be able to look back and may even end up experiencing the “runner’s high.” If you’ve ever thought about going for a run, there’s no better day to start, as today marks Global Running Day 2017. Here’s four suggestions to consider before you get moving.

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Get Fitted For Running Shoes

While getting fitted for shoes may sound like something that’s only for elites, trust me when I say it’s not. Many speciality run shops and other sporting good stores offer a free fitting process that will help you pick the most suitable shoes for your feet. Although the fitting processes vary by location, you’ll most likely complete a gait analysis on a treadmill. It sounds complicated, but it requires no more than you walking or jogging on the treadmill for less than a minute. The technology will evaluate your degree of pronation (the side-to-side motion of your foot) and where your foot hits the ground when you run.

You’ll also be briefly asked about your running history, injury history, and future running goals. Lastly, a store associate will work with you to find a shoe that will work best. Finding a proper fitting shoe is of course important to preventing injuries, but it’s also important to staying comfortable. If you haven’t started running yet, don’t be surprised if you lose toenails or they turn black (I’ve lost count of how many times both have happened to me). Although there’s many reasons for why this happens, one way to avoid it is by having a shoe that fits.

Join A Running Club

Running alone can sometimes get lonely, which is why joining a running club is often a solution to that problem. Many running clubs accommodate all levels of runners. Clubs often have a minimal membership fee, discounts to races, and of course, provide you with support.

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Try An Indoor Treadmill Class

Treadmills get such a bad rep as being boring. Sure, sometimes it may be tedious to run in the same spot or to stare at the gym's white walls. But, there are ways to find it enjoyable. In honor of Global Running Day, I tried Mile High Run Club, an indoor treadmill studio in New York City, and while I’m not easily impressed, my first impression was wow. I went into the class with high expectations, which were nearly exceeded upon leaving the studio after my 45-minute class. I did the “Dash 28” class which included a quick dynamic warm-up, 28 minutes of structured intervals, followed by strength-training exercises with kettlebells.

Once the clock struck 7:30 p.m., and Kanye West’s “All Of The Lights” came blaring through the speakers, it was time to begin and I immediately was in the zone. Throughout the entire time, instructor Scott Carvin guided the room of about twenty runners or so (maximum class size is 36), through precisely explained motions. The upbeat music and energy was continuous, which kept me motivated and focused. Founder of Mile High Run Club, Debora Warner, describes her studio as "a haven for serious runners who are unable to run outside in the NYC winter." Despite this description, the class is suitable for all levels of runners. You go at your own pace throughout the class and use treadmills called Woodway 4Fronts, which are designed to provide a low-impact belt that make you feel like you’re running outside. Unfortunately, like the treadmills, the class itself comes with a hefty price tag. A 6-month unlimited plan costs more than $1,000.

Train For A Race

If you’re ready to get running, but want to feel like you’re running for a purpose, consider training for a race. Scheduling a event, whether it be a 5K fun run or marathon, allows you to create a training plan and stay motivated to crush your goal. Of course, if you rather not run a race, there’s still a long-list of health benefits that come along with running - stress relief, a boost of confidence, and prevention against obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions.

Remember, You're A Runner

Before you begin your running journey, throw away any preconceived notions you may have about what being a “runner” is. Whether you are going a 15-minute pace or a sub 5-minute mile pace, you’re a runner either way. Once you realize that, it’s time to get going!

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