The Good Life: Wellness: In the Race

Fall is Philly’s peak 5K season. Here’s a cheat sheet for running (and loving!) your first

1. Score the right sneaks
“The only gear you really need is one good pair of running shoes,” says Tony Van Dyke, president of Bryn Mawr Running Club. “Get fitted at a specialty running store. Poor-fitting shoes can cause painful blisters and broken toenails—and the last thing a beginner needs is another excuse to miss a run.”

2. Be social
“Running with a friend or group gives you accountability—you’ll be less likely to blow off a workout,” says Ross Martinson, co-owner of Philadelphia Runner. Lululemon organizes jogs for yogi runners; Fishtown Beer Runners share microbrews after their workouts. (For a complete list of local running clubs, visit

3. Change Is Good
Van Dyke recommends doing three half-hour runs per week, and says, “Have fun with your workouts: Explore. Try running through a different neighborhood and checking out the houses, taking a new route through the city, or jogging through your town’s business district—see what’s out there.”

4.Hit the Slopes

“Hills get your glutes and quads working, which makes you faster and helps prevent injury,” says Martinson, who likes training on the steep trails jutting off of Forbidden Drive.

5. Race regularly

“Not only are 5Ks fun and a great way to meet new people—racing every couple of weeks keeps your progress from plateauing,” says Van Dyke. “Just be sure to sign up early: 5Ks are filling up faster than ever.”