The Independent News reached out to us for some fitness and running advice this month.  We are fans of the Independent and have enjoyed working with and training a number of their staff members, including Rick Outzen.  Since their first published issue in 1999, the Independent writes stories presented with energy and enthusiasm that are thorough, thought-provoking and fun to read. They make you laugh, curse and sometimes gasp, but you won’t want to miss an issue.

We were happy to sit down and speak with them.  Here’s an excerpt of our conversation:

(IN) In your opinion, what are a few tips for anyone wanting to start a running program?  

(Paul) Seek expert advice.  Running seems like a relatively simple activity (and it is), but one can definitely do it wrong….or not as correctly as one could with guidance from an expert.  Start with the attitude that it’s an activity that you will do forever, so invest some time in the right equipment and advice/guidance to help meet your goals.

(IN) What items are must-haves for runners of all levels?

(Paul) Correct shoes and socks are, of course, #1.  Shoes should be fit correctly based on a person’s biomechanics, body type and size and running and/or walking goals.  After shoes and socks the correct apparel (tops, shorts, sportsbra, etc) is really important.  Correct apparel not only helps one feel good and confident about getting out and running, but also helps prevent chafing, blisters, dehydration and increases the chances for a positive and lasting experience.

(IN) How would a runner or beginner get more info on group training? 

(Paul) We have many groups that start at different times of the year and all culminate with an event.  They range from a beginner’s 5k to the Marathon, including Sprint and Olymipc Distance Triathlon.  For our beginner 5k group there are no prerequisties, just an attitude for positive change.  And the other programs have starting requirements based on the specific program, for instance those wanting to join the Double Bridge Run program should be able to run/walk 3 miles comfortably.  Our goal in all our programs is to create a positive atmosphere in which our participants experience life changing, long term results.  With nearly 20 coaches on our staff we’re able to effectively connect with anyone who participates in our programs.  We also have several different casual group runs (non-coached) that meet at 6am on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. And our now world famous Phat Girlz (women only) running and walking group that meets on Fridays at 9:30am.

Thanks again Independent.  Look forward to seeing you guys on the road.
Check them out this week: