On Saturday, June 26, the University of Toronto’s Varsity Blues will be hosting the Blues Around the World Virtual 5K run. The event — which is free of charge for the ‘fun run’ and costs $14.99 for the competitive run — is open to all, and will take place virtually across the globe.

Of course, if you would like to take part, but are intimidated by the idea of a 5K distance, don’t worry; The Varsity is here to help you get started on the trail! In this article, I will discuss some tips to assist you on the way to your goal.

You don’t have to run the whole time!

Contrary to what you may believe, it’s okay to take walking breaks when you first start running — it’s perfectly natural to feel exhausted, and it’s important for your body to slow down and take a break. In fact, taking breaks can actually reduce your risk of injury. Running-walking intervals can vary by experience, but The New York Times suggests beginners run for 10-30 seconds, and then walk for one to two minutes — however, you can always change this according to what you find comfortable.

Get comfortable shoes

If you think that the old pair of Vans you hold so dearly are going to keep you gliding on the trail, you would find yourself sorely mistaken, with emphasis on ‘sorely.’ Find a good pair of running shoes online or from a local store before you decide to break a sweat. At the end of the day, comfort always beats style, and you don’t want to risk injury.

Stay hydrated!

While this may seem obvious, it’s always worth a reminder. Keeping up your fluid intake is key for any workout, as you don’t want to risk dehydration. As the weather heats up, heat stroke is always a possibility, and dehydration can generally lead to painful cramps and fatigue.

All in all, when you participate in this historic event with the rest of the U of T community, it’s important to keep in mind your health and well-being. Don’t feel bad if you’re not the fastest — be happy that you got some fresh air and blazed a trail with your fellow Blues.