Ready to run: How to safely prepare for a running event

Summertime into fall is replete with outdoor casual competitions.

Color runs, obstacle courses, triathlons and 5Ks are enjoyable exercise goals for anyone from die-hard athletes to the minimally fitness-focused. Summertime into fall is replete with outdoor casual competitions.

Not prepared? No sweat!

Give a personal trainer the dates of the activities and ask him or her to set up a preparation workout schedule. Or, check out sites such as, which provides safe preparation tips:

– If necessary, check with a physician prior to the event.
– Get plenty of sleep – at least seven to eight hours.
– Run several times a week. Fitness gurus such as Ben Greenfield recommend at least three times a week. He offers this regimen: “For example, one day can be your ‘fast day,’ in which you either walk or run a short distance at a very fast pace. Begin with 1/4 mile at a fast pace, and gradually add to the distance until you can run or walk very fast for a mile. Another day can be a ‘strength day,’ in which you walk or run at a moderate intensity up a steep hill, series of hills or stairs. Begin with one to two hill repeats, and gradually work yourself up to five to 10. Finally, include an easier ‘endurance day’ in which you go long and slow, without pushing yourself too hard. On these days, begin at about 1 to 2 miles, and gradually work yourself up to 3 to 4 miles.”
– Learn your body’s fueling needs — what amount of water and nutrition you require before and during a workout.
– Determine what type of clothing is most comfortable.

Cleveland Clinic indicates that an important part of a fitness event prep is mental: “A positive mental attitude can put you on track for success and help you overcome any challenging situations you encounter.” also reminds to stretch and provides a “dynamic stretch routine” to practice during training and on event day.

Finally, relax and enjoy the process. Remember that no matter what is achieved on event day, exercise is good for the body.