Want to start running but not sure where to start? Heather Johnson Durocher of Michigan Runner Girl provides some helpful tips and tricks on how to begin to run in Northern Michigan, whether it’s your first time or you’re starting up again after a break. Get inspired to get moving and hit the trails!

  • Invest in a good pair of running shoes. The staff at local running speciality stores can help you find the right fit.
  • Take it nice and easy. Inject a few minutes of slow running into your walks, building up to longer stretches of running over time. Remember to listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard, too quickly.
  • Run with friends. You’ll feel motivated to keep running, especially in the beginning, when you get together with others. A running partner can prove invaluable, particularly when you’re getting out of your warm bed to run on dark and chilly mornings.
  • Join a beginning running class. If you’re feeling a bit intimidated about joining a running club (totally normal!) or simply want more information about this sport, consider signing on for a new-to-running class, such as Running 101 that’s offered at Running Fit in Traverse City. The next series starts May 6 and is a six-week, six-session class that includes a group run followed by a 30- to 40-minute clinic. Go here to learn more.
  • Consider signing on for a race. Our region is home to numerous races year-round. Signing up for your first race, like a fun 5K run/walk, can keep you on track with a consistent running routine. You’ll also have a blast meeting other runners and soaking up the race vibe. Warning: you’ll likely become hooked on the race experience. Two upcoming races here in northern Michigan to consider: Run the Ridge 10K Team Relay (each person runs a 5K) this Saturday, May 9, at Timber Ridge RV & Recreation Resort; and the Glen Arbor Solstice Half Marathon & 5K on June 20.

Heather Johnson Durocher publishes michiganrunnergirl.com, a website about all things Michigan and running. The site features running inspiration, resources and race information. Find Michigan Runner Girl on Facebook. Heather runs and writes in Traverse City, where she lives with her husband Joe and their three children.

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Photo(s) by Heather Johnson Durocher