May is the sweet spot for beginners to start running: the sidewalks have been fully reclaimed from the snowbanks, the weather is mild enough that you don’t really have to worry about heat exhaustion or hypothermia, and you could still reasonably make this your year to run the Tely 10.

In addition, for a solo sport, running is one of those activities that encourages comradery and community among participants. “There are so many people running now in Newfoundland, and with all the new noncompetitive runs popping up all over, it’s not so intimidating for new runners to get out there and finish an event,” says Scott Eldridge, Store Manager at Running Room St. John’s. “Everyone was a beginner sometime.”

Eldridge says that there are lots of reasons people decide to finally get into running, from helping to lose weight, training for a specific race from your bucket list, relieving stress, improving fitness, and building self-esteem and sense of accomplishment. “I have never yet heard anyone say they regretted that run,” says Eldridge. “Many I have heard regretting they didn’t.”

The most important piece of gear will be your shoes, but a decent pair can be expensive. If someone’s not sure they’re ready to invest in a pair of running shoes, Eldridge recommends a no-pressure visit to the store. “Come get assessed to determine which type of shoe is best for you,” says Eldridge. “We offer that service free of charge at Running Room.”

Eldridge emphasizes the importance of shoes because they protect against impact and over-pronation or under-pronation. Pronation is a natural movement of the foot that occurs during foot landing while running or walking. Issues in pronation mean the repeated shock from the foot’s impact doesn’t spread evenly throughout the foot and the ankle has trouble stabilizing the rest of the body. If you’ve got flat feet, you might be an over-pronator, so a motion-control shoe might be a good fit for you. Those with high arches likely have the opposite problem, and need a neutral-cushioned shoe that encourages a more natural foot motion.

“We can show you which shoes you are best suited in, and size, then show you how to identify your type,” says Eldridge. “We offer huge discounts on older models when the new ones arrive and if we don’t have their size they can always order from our online store. Shipping is free if they have them delivered here to the store.”

Now that you’ve got your new off-court buddies, there are lots of trails and routes to explore in St John’s, including the Rennie’s Mill trail, Virginia Trail, Quidi Vidi, and the old rail line.

“Depending on the time of year the locations may differ,” says Eldridge. “A lot of people have to train all winter long, so we recommend staying on the sidewalks when you can, and off the main thoroughfares. Follow the rules of the road and use crosswalks. Also wear lots of reflective clothing and been seen.”

The Running Room is located at #9 Rowan Street in Churchill Square