Summer is finally here, and it’s the perfect time to dust off the old running shoes—or buy new, no judgment here—and hit the trails.

If you’re new to the sport of running or if it has been awhile, you’ll want to ease into it. You don’t want to strain or pull anything, which can easily happen if you push yourself too hard.

Here are five tips for the beginner or fair weather runner to get race-day ready.

1. Hydrate. It might seem unusual to have this as the first tip, but it’s important. According to The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, an adequate daily fluid intake is about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men and about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women. Running in the summer causes you to sweat and lose lots of fluids. Stay hydrated to keep from losing too much.

2. Ease into it. If you’re not used to being physically active, piling on a grueling workout schedule can take a toll on your body. Always make sure to warm up. According to runnersworld.com, you should be running 20 to 25 miles a week if you’re training for a 5K race. Start small and work your way up to that distance. To prevent injuries, increase your weekly mileage volume by no more than 10 percent, and remain at that new mileage level for three weeks before increasing again.

3. Listen to your body. If you’re not used to being active, running might hurt when you first get out there. If pain persists, stop training and see a doctor. Easy training runs shouldn’t leave you in pain once you’re used to running.

4. Be safe. When choosing where to run, be aware of your surroundings. Know the rules of the road if you’re hitting the pavement and try coordinating to run with a friend so that you can use the buddy system.

5. Have fun! Running shouldn’t feel like a chore. Use your time on the trail to clear your head or listen to music or a podcast. Running isn’t just good for your physical health. According to fitness
magazine.com, running is a form of meditation and “can boost your gray matter, improve focus and fight depression and anxiety.”

Start now, and show off your skills at one of the races mentioned at the right.

SIGN UP FOR ONE OF THESE RACES:
Hero 5K Run/Walk

May 28
It is a looped 3.1-mile run-walk along 13th street in Perry Township. Race day registration is $40. All participants are encouraged to sign up before race day, with discounted prices. Packet pickup is race day only at Perry High School.

Fit Family 5K

June 16
The eighth annual Fit Family 5K Run and Walk Race begins at Walsh University and winds through the roads of the surrounding North Canton community. Packet pickup will be available from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. inside the David Center Building on the Walsh University campus. The race will begin at 9 a.m. The cost ranges from $10 to $25.

1st Lt. Ashley White Freedom 5K

June 23
This race is a cross country run through the fields and vineyards of Maize Valley Winery & Craft Brewery and Moore’s Tree Farm in Marlboro Township. Day of registration begins at 7a.m. The race will start promptly at 8 a.m. The cost is $25.

Louisville YMCA 10K & 2 Mile Race

June 23
The 13th annual Louisville Area YMCA 10K and 2-Mile Race is held at the beautiful Metzger Park. The 2-mile race is on paved trails, and the 10K is a combination of paved trails and Louisville city allotments. The cost ranges from $17 to $40.

Night Glow—Jackson High School

June 29
Enjoy a unique event that starts late in the evening with fireworks and finishes in the North Park across from Jackson High School in the midst of the Jackson Community Celebration. Packet pickup and day of registration begin at 3 p.m. at Jackson High School. The kids fun run starts at 9:15 p.m. with the 5K starting at 9:30 p.m. The cost ranges from $10 to $35.

41st Annual North Canton YMCA July 4th Race

July 4
The North Canton July 4th Race is a 2-mile or a 5-mile event. The 5-mile is part of the Ohio Challenge Series. There is a Firecracker Dash (100 yards) for children 6 and younger. Athletes of all ages and abilities are welcome, and there is a separate starting time for wheelchair participants. The cost ranges from $12 to $45.

Run4Kids SuperHero 5K

July 13
Kiwanis Miles for Kids 5K and Tiqvah 5K have joined to form the Run4Kids SuperHero 5K. Race proceeds will be divided evenly to each organization. Registration is at 6 p.m. The kids run will start at 7:15 p.m., with the 5K starting at 8 p.m. The 5K is a scenic two loops around Kent State University at Stark. The cost ranges from $20 to $35.

Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival UP, UP, & AWAY 5K

July 28
Runners and walkers are welcome. Start your morning at the beautiful Kent State University at Stark campus for a 5K looping course surrounded by the excitement of the potential for hot air balloons to both launch and fly over the campus. Packet pickup is at OMNI Orthopaedics from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. July 27 or race morning at Kent State University at Stark beginning at 6:50 a.m.

For more information, visit ohiochallengeseries.enmotive.com.

About The Author

Kelsey Reinhart

Kelsey Reinhart is the editor of About magazine. When she's not working, she's usually reading, running, knitting or spending time in the great outdoors.

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