All you need to start running is a good pair of running shoes, a training plan and a goal race on your calendar. It’s also a good idea to get checked out by a doctor to make sure you’re healthy enough to begin.


It is important to choose shoes that are made specifically for running – they don’t need to be the most expensive shoe available.

  • Visit a running specialty retailer (Fleet Feet West Hartford and SoundRUNNER are two good choices) who will work with you to find the right shoes for your feet.
  • Get your gait analyzed to make sure your shoes will provide the needed support and fit to allow you to run injury free.
  • Ask about the store’s return policy in case the shoes cause discomfort after your initial run. Running shoes don’t need a “break in” period to feel comfortable.


A training program helps to keep you on track and ensures that your mileage increases gradually.

  • Many beginner plans alternate running and walking, then build to all running.
  • Go it alone with a free plan, work with an in-person or online coach, or join a local group. Mix it up to fit your lifestyle and schedule! More…


A great way to stay motivated it to pick a race in the future and write it on your calendar. Find family and friends to run with you, post on social media and get excited about your first race.

  • Pick a race distance that is realistic based on your training schedule.
  • Count back from race day to determine how many weeks you have to train, and adjust your training plan to match. Or, choose a training program that has a goal race that interests you.
  • Find a race that is close to home. Sleeping in your bed the night before your first race and having all of your gear at your fingertips the morning of the race is a great way to lessen any butterflies you might have.
  • Check out HMF events


  • Make time for running – pencil your runs into your weekly calendars to keep you on track with your training program.
  • Running Log – written in a notebook or tracked digitally, a log helps you reflect on your runs. Items to track include the length of your run (both time and distance), time of day and how you felt during and after the run.
  • Start with a warm up, end with stretching
  • Listen to your body
  • Learn about hydration and nutrition for runners.
  • Check out these COVID-19 Running Safety Tips provided by Select Physical Therapy