By Heather Gardner, founder Tribe Fitness.

With a new year comes opportunity for a fresh start and new fitness goals. For you that might mean finally lacing up those sneakers and experiencing for yourself what all this run buzz is about. To help you kick off 2015 on the right foot, here are my five tips every new runner should consider.

  1. Get Proper Shoes.

Wearing the correct running shoes for your feet is key for both comfort and injury prevention. Visit a running specialty store and chat with a professional about your foot type, gait, and style of running. Running in old or worn out shoes will only lead to pain and injury. With a variety of price points, consider this expense an investment in your health!

  1. Don’t Worry About Your Pace.

As a beginning runner consider your pace goal to maintain an easy or “conversational” pace for the duration of your run. You should be able to breathe easily and carry on a conversation with those you are running with. As a new runner you might also consider starting with a run/walk program, where you run for a certain amount of time, followed by a brief period of walking. This is a great way to get active while building your fitness level and endurance.

  1. Learn Proper Form.

While I often encourage new runners to move in a way that feels most natural to them, consider these points for a pain free upper body.

  • As your elbows pull back, keep your arms bent at 90 degrees with your hands at waist height, where they might brush your hips.
  • Keep your spine tall with your head up, your back straight, and shoulders away from your ears and level.
  1. Sign up for a Race.

One of the easiest ways for me to get motivated (besides tip #5) is to spend money and commit to a race. As a new runner, be sure to set a realistic length goal and give yourself enough time for proper and safe training. Once your race is on your calendar or in your phone, you’ll have something to motivate you on a daily basis. Wondering where to start? I suggest Harry’s Spring Run Off.

  1. Join a Tribe.

Company. Accountability. Speed. Fun. Toronto has an amazing number of run crews each adding something unique to our growing and evolving run scene. Check out the crew’s online presence – can you see yourself with them?, shop around giving each one a test run, and find a crew that works for you, where the runners have similar goals and the workouts fit into your busy schedule. Looking for a place to start? #JoinTheTribe