run On the
By Malia Jacobson
WANT TO RUN a race in 2015—even if your
running shoes haven’t seen much action?
You’re in good company: The number of race
finishers has boomed 300 percent since 1990,
with the 5K earning first place as the most
popular race to complete. In 2014, the group
Running USA reported that more than 8 million Americans ran a 5K the previous year,
with numbers projected to keep climbing.
Setting a race goal can be a heart-smart
resolution with a big health payoff, says
Costco member Dr. Susan Kleiner, a sports
nutritionist and owner of High Performance
Nutrition in Seattle. “Race training provides a
concrete goal, encourages consistent exercise
and can take fitness to a whole new level,” says
Kleiner, author of Power Eating (Human
Kinetics, 2013; not available at Costco).
If you’re ready to start training, here’s how
to get started, keep at it and cross a finish line
Before starting any exercise program, get
your physician’s OK. When you have a green
light, pick a race and register; visit active.com/
running to find a 5K race near you.
Pick a race date nine to 12 weeks in the
future to allow enough time to train (jumping
into racing without adequate training can be
a recipe for injury; see “Endure, don’t injure”).
Two to three months allows enough time
to progressively increase distance and speed
without stressing your body, says Costco
member Michael Silverman, physical thera-
pist at the Hospital for Special Surgery’s James
M. Benson Sports Rehabilitation Center in
New York City. Novice runners sometimes
don’t allow enough time to train or take train-
ing seriously enough, Silverman notes. “This
can lead to serious injury because your body
won’t be ready to handle the demands of
Prior to training, do a gear check: Are
your running shoes past their prime? If
their sole cushioning is pancake flat, with
no bounce, replace them with a new pair (see
“Shoe selection” on page 58).
While you’re at it, pick out a running
playlist to make those training miles fly by.
Any music you find motivating will do the
trick; in a study by the University of Southern
Queensland in Australia, running to self-selected music increased athletes’ endurance
by nearly 20 percent.
What’s the best way to get in race shape?
Per new research from The Journal of
Physiology, interval training—exercising in
short high-intensity bursts—boosts cardiovascular health fast, allowing would-be racers
to get fit in a third of the time required by
traditional workouts that involve logging up
to five hours per week at the gym. The Web
offers a number of preplanned 5K interval
training programs, including the Couch to
5K® program by coolrunning.com, a nine- week program with progressively longer running intervals that build to a 5K.
Most interval training programs are
designed to be run three times per week. But
don’t just run, Silverman says; runners can
also benefit from biking and swimming—
good ways to build cardiovascular health
without placing added stress on joints—and
weight training to build leg and core strength.
And remember to stretch, Silverman
says: “Research supports a dynamic warm-up
[active stretching while moving] before run-
Endure, don’t injure
DON’T GET SIDELINED BY AN INJURY. The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports
Medicine reports that runners are most commonly injured in their first four to six months of
training. Costco member Michael Silverman, physical therapist at the Hospital for Special
Surgery, New York City, offers these tips to avoid common running injuries.
The Costco Connection
Costco warehouses and Costco.com offer
footwear and treadmills, plus ellipticals,
weight machines, bikes, bike trainers and
more for cross-training.
• Increase distance gradually, adding no
more than 10 percent per week.
• Replace running shoes after 500 to 600
miles or whenever the soles lose
• Run on reasonably soft surfaces, like a
track designed for running.
• Give your body at least one day’s rest
• Train on flat surfaces and add hills
gradually; hill training can stress knees
• Avoid running outdoors during extremely
hot or cold weather; substitute a treadmill run instead.
• After a run, stretch quadriceps, calves,
hip flexors and glutes.—MJ
Making strides toward
your first footrace
CONTINUED ON PAGE 58