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Mercedes Marathon is just around the corner

Chances are your New Year's resolution wasn't to run the Mercedes Marathon, unless you started training last year.  Chances are however that it did have something to do with wellness, fitness, or weight loss.  Well, jogging or running is an exhilarating way to achieve those goals, and quickly.

A marathon is probably a far reach for you, but there are dozens of other walk/runs throughout the year of varying distances.  Most runs these days offer a 1 mile fun run for beginners and children.  The Birmingham Track Club is a great source for runners, novice and experienced. 

Getting started:  The best way to motivate yourself to meet your goals is to set a deadline.  It helps to see some light at the end of the tunnel.  Look through the calendar of runs and pick a reasonable date.  If you want to start with the mile fun run you may only need to train for a few weeks.  If you want to set your sights on a 5K or 10K, you will have to wear your training wheels a bit longer. 

Couch to 5K is a brilliant program that coaches beginners through running at a gentle pace. It is a 9-week program that encourages you to walk and run no more than 3 times a week for 30 minutes.  You walk and run in intervals.  It begins with longer walking intervals than running, and week by week increases the time you run.  You can do the program on your own, with a stop watch and this schedule.  Or you can join a group like Danny Haralson's Running 101 at the Trak Shak.  Applications are now available to download on your cell phone when compatible. 

Don't forget that comfortable new running shoes are a must to help prevent injury.  The Trak Shak has 3 locations in the Birmingham area, and they do a great job of fitting you with the right shoes.  Their employees know how to pick the right shoe for you by watching how you walk.  If you bring in your old pair of running shoes they will give you $10 off of your new pair. 

Get out and start moving.  Set a goal and give yourself a reasonable deadline.  Whatever your fitness goals, enjoy what you are doing. Remember a smile will make your task easier. 

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