To anyone who knows me, it’s no secret that I’m not a regular runner (my college lacrosse days are long gone). But with the start of a new year and the motivation of a friendly bet, I’ve actually been hitting the pavement, er, treadmill for two weeks now. How do I know what I’m doing? Well, I don’t – but I did find some helpful tips for everything from tricks to finding the right running shoe to exercises that increase speed. Aside from an energy-spiking playlist, here are my favorite findings:

Wear the right sneaker: Admittedly, I am still wearing the same sneakers I’ve had since sophomore year of high school (I wish that was a joke). But I’m just about ready to commit to this enough to camp out in the specialty store until I find the right sneakers for my seriously flat feet. Fun fact: you should replace your running shoes every 300 – 400 miles.

Perfect your technique: When I first read SHAPE Magazine’s 10 tips for improving running technique, I was a little surprised. With advice like don’t land on your heel and use shorter strides rather than long strides, I’m realizing (quickly) how much work I have in store.

Build muscle to run faster: As much as squats (and anything that resembles the leg-trembling cousin of the lunge) give me nightmares, they are incredibly effective for strength training. But pain is gain (or so they say), and these four leg exercises promise to make you feel the burn.

One other benefit to taking up this healthy pastime? Running tours. Can you think of a better way to see a city you’re visiting? I didn’t think so. It’s social, you get in your exercise for the day, and you see all the sites firsthand. There is no downside.

Our Go For a Run Men’s and Women’s Boutiques open Saturday, January 26, at 11AM ET.

By Abigail Kuzia, Editor

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January 26, 2013

1. KitchenAid teakettle. This year I resolve to drink less coffee and more tea. (Or at least to give it the old college try.) Our KitchenAid Boutique opens Monday, December 31, at 11AM ET.  

2. Marika yoga mat. My next goal? Get back into yoga. This stylish mat will make that (a little) more plausible. Our Resolve to Get Fit: Activewear, Sneakers, & More Boutique opens Thursday, January 3, at 11AM ET.  

3. Obsession Rules Women’s Starie Suede Loafer. Always femme and just a bit edgy, these studded flats will be my chief dress-up (and feet-saving) ally of 2012. Our Best of 2012: The 9 Trends to Wear into 2013 Boutique opens Tuesday, January 1, at 11AM ET. 

4. Freestyle watch. I had this exact watch as a child of the oh-so-idyllic early ’90s. Now that it’s grown up (either that, or its retro look has come full circle), I’m hopping back on the Freestyle train – and pronto. Our Back on Track: Athletic Watches by PUMA & More Boutique opens Monday, December 31, at 11AM ET.  

By Sarah Stanley, Staff Writer

Looking forward to something next week? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet us @ruelala.

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December 30, 2012