Kimberly Garrison: Ready, set, run down Broad Street

Posted: April 25, 2013

THE 34TH ANNUAL Blue Cross Broad Street Run is fast approaching - just 11 days until May 5. This signature Philadelphia event typically attracts more than 40,000 participants, many of them exercise enthusiasts looking to raise the bar by challenging themselves to this laborious and exhilarating experience.

Have you decided it's time to up the ante and attempt your first 10-mile race?

It's too late to sign up for this year's Broad Street Run, but it's not too soon to start working toward next year. You'll need a quarter-cup of preparation and three-quarters-a-cup of determination to prepare your mind, body and soul.

START SMALL: The best way to get going is by participating in shorter races such as 3Ks, 5Ks or 10Ks. Progress gradually and master each level before moving to the next. Once you're ready for longer runs, you can incorporate training phases like speed, endurance, strength and tapering.

BE A WELL-ROUNDED RUNNER: Don't avoid strength training or neglect stretching. If you want to decrease imbalances that could lead to an injury, include comprehensive strength and flexibility training in your program.

Proper fueling, hydration and meal-timing are also a must. Yes, running is no joke. It requires an investment of more than just your time. But aren't you worth it?

DON'T DO THIS: Many new runners mistakenly run on the treadmill to prepare for their first race. Follow that strategy, and you'll fail miserably. At some point, you are going to have to get off the treadmill and train on the terrain you'll race on. You also must train the distance to run it. Otherwise, you won't make it to the finish line, and you'll surely suffer some major aches and pains.

SLOW AND STEADY WINS: A typical beginner runs about 20 to 25 miles a week (5 miles a day).

But don't sweat it if you can't do that right away - start with one mile and work your way up. Remember, the only competition is you, so crawl, walk and run your way to your personal victory.

ALL ABOUT BROAD STREET: Though you can't enter this year's race, there are plenty of places to watch along the route, which goes down Broad from Fisher Avenue in Logan to the Navy Yard. The race starts at 8:30 a.m. and usually finishes by about 11 a.m. Get all the details at broadstreetrun.com.


Kimberly Garrison is a wellness coach and owner of One on One Ultimate Fitness in Philadelphia. Her column appears Wednesdays.

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