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The Alaska Club

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Spring into Running by Training at The Club

Posted by The Alaska Club | Apr 12, 2016 11:13:54 AM

Spring time! cue collective sigh of relief from everyone feeling cooped up during winter…running.jpg

It's the season of new life and sunshine (ohhh, glorious sunshine). Almost everyone has reasons to be excited for the coming of spring, but we're going to focus on a group for whom spring adds an extra, well, spring to their step: runners.

Now wait. Before you say "Oh, that's not me because I'm not a runner," hear us out.

At some point in our lives, each of us has probably seen someone running and thought, "Hmm, I should probably try that." 

Well, we agree. You should try it. As far as being active goes, running is about the most approachable option. It doesn't require a ton of specialized equipment, it can fit almost any schedule, and it can be a group or solo activity.

It's true that it's an acquired taste for some people (similar to winter camping or canned Salmon), so don't feel disheartened if you tried it once and didn't fall in love immediately. You're not alone.

Instead, think of it like your New Year's resolutions some of the best predictors of success are being realistic and having a game-plan.

So let's focus on that.


The concept of a Rocky-esque first run is tempting. Covering several miles with a climactic finish at the top of some prominent city stairs, arms raised overhead, is pretty enticing, and we get it.

But while your enthusiasm for a new goal/hobby may carry you far on your first run, jumping in the deep end is not recommended (for new swimmers or new runners). Instead most experts suggest a walk/run schedule to start off (like the Runner's World example below; repeat as necessary to fill 30 minutes). 





2 minutes

4 minutes


3 minutes

3 minutes


4 minutes

2 minutes


5 minutes

3 minutes


7 minutes

3 minutes


8 minutes

2 minutes


9 minutes

1 minutes


13 minutes

2 minutes


14 minutes

1 minutes


15 minutes


And while the lower 48 may be stretching their legs outside, we all know that spring in the 49th state arrives a little later. Alaskans are used to embracing the idea of "training inside to get outside" and there is still plenty of time to take advantage of the indoor tracks and treadmills at The Alaska Club. Plus, having the clocks/timers of the treadmills in front of you can be particularly handy when you're starting out with a walk/run schedule so you can accurately track each segment for walking and running minutes without fiddling with a smartphone timer while working out.

But if you still want to finish each run with a run up a mountain, arms raised, without a doubt – go for it!

Card_1193_April_Instagram_Campaign4.jpgSHOES! SHOES! SHOES! 

There's a school of thought: it's worth spending more money on better quality things that come between you and the ground (chairs/sofas, mattresses, tires, etc.), and that is definitely true with running shoes. Since it's the only equipment you really need, it is worth investing in a good pair of running shoes. The difference between $40 sneakers from a discount store and a legit pair of running shoes is BIG!

You will feel the difference, and avoiding unnecessary pain from poor footwear will help ensure that you continue with your running schedule.

The good news is that specialty running stores really are there to help, with associates that should know the best shoe style for the way your foot is shaped as well as be able to evaluate your stride and how your foot is impacting the ground, providing recommendations for both. Plus most specialty shoe stores will let you take a potential pair for a "test drive" around the block to make sure they are just right.


As far as what surface is best for running, different opinions are as varied as those winter snowflakes. Sidewalk, asphalt, indoor tracks, treadmills, grass, trails. You'll find fans of each option for a variety of reasons. 

We simply recommend finding what works for you, and don't be afraid to switch it up and try something new. After all, variety is the spice of life, and being in new surroundings will help running stay fresh. 

However, it is good to always have an indoor option (access to either a treadmill or track) so you can keep up with your schedule in spite of any extended periods of unsuitable weather. 


  • If you plan to start running, we recommend talking with your doctor as he/she is always good for some advice. And while you should feel a little sore after a good run, if you feel any intense pain, definitely scale it back and talk with your doctor before continuing.
  • As with most activities, it's best to start with a light warm up, engaging your neuromuscular system, and end with a cool down, allowing your body to ease into recovery. If you'd like some recommendations for this, feel free to ask one of The Alaska Club trainers or fitness instructors.
  • For starters, plan on running 3 days a week or only every other day. It's important to let your body recover between runs and it's good to take some time to get used to it and see how you feel or if you encounter any severe pain points.
  • It's natural to feel a little self conscious about your running style, but just remember everyone does it differently so figure out what works for you. In general though, shorter strides are easier on your legs and make sure to keep your arms pumping forward (and not across your body) for the most efficiency. 
  • Once you have a good foundation for running and want to increase either your distance or time, you can try out the 10% general rule of thumb. It's just as it sounds: If you had 90 minutes of total running time last week, shoot for 99 minutes of running time the next week. If you ran 5 miles last week, focus on running 5.5 miles the next week.
  • Find ways to stay engaged, whether it's finding a running buddy or joining a running group, listening to music or signing up for races. 


If you decide that you'd like to take up running, we commend you and hope this quick overview provides some simple ideas to get started and keep you on track (pun intended). As always, this article is only a drop in the bucket, so do your research to be prepared, and feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions at thealaskaclub.com or at your local club.

Starting in April, the Alaska Club has special programs for both beginners and avid runners, like Strength Training for Runners, Chi Running, Indoor Triathlon, Tri Training and more. Visit thealaskaclub.com for more information or take a look at the Spring Activity Guide for programs offered in your community.

And, with that, the only thing left to say is:

"Ruuuun, [your name here], ruuuuuuun!" 

(a la Forrest Gump, in case that's wasn't clear)

Topics: running, tri training

Written by The Alaska Club

The Alaska Club serves the Anchorage, Mat-Su, Fairbanks, and Juneau area with individual, family and spa memberships. Join today!


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