Ah, running – that most venerated of sports. Even my runner friends say that running is the actual worst.
When I first decided I wanted to exercise more often, I chose running. Why?
- Because running is a solo activity. I’m a little intimidated by the idea of exercising around other people, but running is something I get to do on my own! And if anyone bothers me, I can just whoosh past the haters.
- Because it’s simple and requires minimal equipment. All you need is a good pair of running shoes and a watch if you want to time yourself.
- Because it’s versatile. You can do it inside or outside, in the cold or in the heat – no need to worry about signing up, paying money, missing your class, etc.
- Because there are tons of annual events in Toronto – from 5Ks to marathons – that make perfect goals to train for. Plus, you can get to know new people through run clubs that meet throughout the city.
- Last but not least: Because it’s a gentle introduction to the world of exercise. It’ll help you build endurance, show you your limits, and challenge you! If you set the goal of running a 5K or 10K in a few months, you’ll learn a lot about yourself in the time it takes to train.
Right now is the perfect time of year to run laps around Queen’s Park or King’s College circle – I love seeing the fall views on campus. If you don’t want to run outside once it gets cold, U of T has plenty of indoor running options, such as the track at Hart House or the Athletic Centre. There are also treadmills at Hart House, the Athletic Centre, and the Goldring Centre.
U of T also has some options for those who want to learn more about running in a group setting. There’s the Triathlon Club and the Hart House Learn to Run program, which I did in the spring and loved! Each week focuses on a different aspect of running, from nutrition to endurance and form, and the class culminates in a 5K at the end of the ten weeks.
If you want to get started running, check out this schedule for drop-in jogging at the Athletic Centre and the Varsity Centre track. Also, look at this list of upcoming races if you’d like to set a goal for yourself.
See you out there, new runner!