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Like The Wind!

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Running is one of the best ways to keep fit: it's inexpensive (free, except for cost of shoes and other kit), you can do it anywhere, and it's a great, simple way to enjoy the outdoors while getting fit. But if you haven't done much running since PE at school, it's not always easy to get back in to it.
That's why we asked Bud Baldaro and Clifton Bradley, members of the ASICS running clinics PRO team, to give us their top five tips for girls who want to get running - but don't know where to star...
1. Shoes are important. Yes, this is an opportunity to go shoe shopping, too, even if they're a little less sexy-looking than your Jimmy Choos. Wearing the correct category of running shoes is essential. Have your gait and foot type analysed by a reputable running store or podiatrist; they'll be able to recommend a running shoe that suits your individual needs. They may not be cute, but they'll make a big difference. This is particularly important if your feet pronate (roll inward) or one of your legs is longer than the other - in this case, see a qualified sports podiatrist.
2. Do your own thing. In the early stages, the most important thing is that you take your time and work at your own pace. Doing it with friends may be a good motivator, but joining a running club too soon may mean that you are pushed along by more experienced runners - you may feel like you're going nice and fast, but it can also increase your risk of injury. Six months after starting to run is often a good time to consider joining a club.
3. Develop your own style. Let your natural running style come through - your body will tell you. For example, if you're a heel-to-toe runner, don't force yourself to run on your toes, and certainly avoid barefoot running until your leg muscles are really strong.
4. Change your pace. If you're aiming to run a 5K for the first time, switch up your training: running the whole distance slowly, or running less than the full distance at a faster pace than that which you expect to run the race at. Vary your training methods and terrains, so your body is used to changing things up, and practise running at your goal pace (which doesn't have to be fast, mind you) on a measured circuit. And don't forget that sometimes your pace should be dialed down altogether - the body needs a recovery phase to cope with the new stresses of your new form of exercise, so have a cycle of easy/hard days, with the occasional day off, too.
5. Go shopping again. When your running shoes look worn out, they are worn out - this can happen faster than you think. Changing old shoes for new frequently may seem expensive, but it's cheaper than seeing a sports injury specialist.


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