7 Tips for Your First 5K

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4. Find a Running Buddy

Do any of your friends or co-workers run? Ask to join them. This can help pass the time and you may learn something from them as well. If you don't have any friends that run, look for group runs sponsored by local running clubs. They will usually have mileage and paces posted.

If you don't see anything you think you can do, go anyway. You might be surprised by the people there and find someone who is more than happy to run with you. Running with others is a great chance to bond with an old friend or make new friends in the running community.

More: 4 Tips for Running With a Partner

5. Get New Shoes

Head to your local running store and tell them your goals. Be prepared to run—they'll probably ask to see your gait to help find the right shoe for you.

New shoes can help motivate even seasoned runners. There's something refreshing about lacing up a new pair of running shoes. Even if you don't buy a new pair, just being in a running atmosphere can be motivating. Plus, they're a great place to find races and group runs.

More: How to Pick the Right Running Shoes

6. Listen to Your Body

Remember to take it easy. If you push yourself too hard from the start, you risk an early burn-out. You may also risk injury. Gradually build up your endurance and muscle strength. Begin with a walk/run program as a safe and realistic way to begin your running career.

7. Strengthen Your Mind

Take it easy on yourself mentally as well. Be proud that you have gotten off the couch and are moving. Think of the positives while you run. Remember, a 12-minute mile and a six-minute mile are still a mile. They are both a mile more than someone who is just sitting on the couch.

More: Find Your Running Motivation

Take that first step and get out the door.

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