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Running: Tips for spring training

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Spring is almost here and instead of spring cleaning only your house, it’s a prime time to spring clean your health and fitness as well.

This upcoming season is one of most profitable for the fitness industry as more people are looking to get fit for the looming summer full of bikinis and swimsuits.

But it shouldn’t be just a vanity thing for our community, because according to the annual America’s Health Rankings report from the United Health Foundation, 31 percent of Latinos suffer from obesity and diabetes, compared with 28 percent of the general population. Though there’s hope, an NBC Latino article reports, if we just change our lifestyle.

What better way to change your lifestyle than to incorporate exercise in a fun way? Running races is extremely fun, and running happens to be one of the quickest ways to get in shape.

They key to enjoying running is to start off slowly and ease into it. I’ve found one of the keys to success is to sign up for a race, be it a 5K, 10K, half-marathon or marathon; and then to find a training plan that works best for you. Another growing category is mud runs and obstacle course races.

But, said Denver-based personal trainer Vince Trujillo, the key to getting used to a new regimen is starting off slowly.

“Everybody comes on too strong – they’re trying to make up for the last however many years of inactivity in the first week or first month,” Trujillo said. “They change their exercise habits and lifestyles so dramatically, so quickly that it’s impossible to maintain.”

That proves true for running. Many a person has been turned off to running simply because they tried to run too far or too fast, too soon. One way to start a running regimen is the Couch to 5K, which can be found at

The Couch-to-5K is the program I used to get into running – the activity that’s helped me lose 60 pounds – five years ago. I signed up for my first 5K shortly after starting this program, gave myself ample time to train and as soon as I crossed that first finish line I was hooked. Now, I’ve run countless 10Ks, a few half-marathons, five marathons and am currently training for my first ultramarathon, which will be this coming May.

In addition to weight loss, running can help alleviate some stress we all face in our daily lives, according to Women’s Health Magazine. Plus it’s affordable and an easy, yet effective workout – all you need are some running clothes and a pair of shoes to get started!


5K Skirt Chaser Series, nationwide in June and July:

The Color Run 5K, nationwide in June:


Bolder Boulder, Boulder, Colo., May:

Marine Corps 10K,


Disneyland Half-Marathon, Anaheim, Calif., September:


Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon Series, nationwide, year-round:

Walt Disney World Marathon, Orlando, Fla., January:

Mud Runs

Dirty Girl 5K Mud Run & Obstacle Course, nationwide, year-round

Spartan Race, nationwide, year-round:

Tough Mudder, nationwide, year-round:

Muddy Buddy, nationwide, year-round:


By Being Latino Contributor Ana Trujillo. Trujillo studied journalism and political science at the University of Miami and after working for several years at the Santa Fe New Mexican, now writes for a trade publication that covers the outdoor and fitness industries. She has her own fitness blog at 

About Adriana Villavicencio

Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is the youngest child of Ecuadorian immigrants. She has moved 29 times in her life, taking her on a journey from California to Bangalore, India, and New York City, where she recently earned a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and works as a Research Associate at New York University. An avid traveler, Adriana has collected experiences in four different continents and 16 different countries. But as a former high school English teacher, some of her fondest memories are those of her brilliant and brilliantly funny students in Brooklyn and Oakland. Adriana has contributed to several publications including the Daily News and, and is a managing editor for the Journal of Equity in Education. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English Education at Columbia University, and currently serves on the board of Columbia’s Latino Alumni Association (LAACU). She enjoys scary movies with red vines, Sauvignon Blanc, and her Maltese dog, Napoleon.

To learn more about Adriana’s education consulting company, please visit

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.

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