Follow these guidelines and enjoy your path to the finish line!

Signing up to run a 5K race is the perfect way to kick-start a fitness routine and/or shed those unwanted pounds. For many beginning runners, the initial training routine can seem daunting. However, there are a few tips to follow that will not only make training manageable, but also fun.

Many beginning runners chose to enter the race world by participating in a recreational run, such as a Thanksgiving Day race. If you sign up to run a Thanksgiving Day race, start your training program in September to ensure that you are fit and trim for the beginning of the holiday season! By beginning with a structured and realistic training routine, you will begin to create a healthy and active lifestyle for yourself that you can carry through the holiday season and into the new year, continuing the hard work you put in for three months.

Here are five essential tips to get you hitting the pavement and ready for the starting line, healthy and injury-free.

1. Sign Up For The Race
2. Set A Realistic Goal
3. Create Your Program
4. Get Proper Running Shoes
5. Start Running!


Laura Ouimet, the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, is a running and triathlon coach and also puts on the Dana Point Turkey Trot in California. To learn more about the Dana Point Turkey Trot and to sign up, visit