We all know how to improve ourselves as runners: speedwork, good form, quality and varieties of work outs, and the list goes on. Most of the time, we think of ways to improve only from our perspective. What about improving our local running communities? If this could happen, not only would it make us better runners but we believe that it would help grown our running community in Louisiana. So we asked the question “What’s one way the running community in Louisiana could be improved?” and this was your feedback along with some of ours here at Claim Your Journey.
1. Developing more trail systems and “running” parks
Accessibility and convenience is a top priority for anyone with any kind of active lifestyle and if you add a full time job, children, volunteering, etc… to that list, accessibility and convenience become that much more important. The more trails and “running” parks that we have in Louisiana, the more likely people will be to get active and stay active. Let’s admit it, sometimes lacing up your shoes and running out of your front door on a semi-daily basis can get very mundane. The more trails and options we have as a community, the better. Not only is it great to switch things up for our minds but it’s good for our bodies as well, especially in respects to preventing injuries.
2. Running programs for kids
While there are wonderful programs out there that already exist like, Girls on the Run and Youth Run NOLA, those programs are not widespread and have taken quite some time to develop and depend heavily on donations and volunteers. Our thought is that helping these programs and possibly coming up with a state wide program that encourages kids to run from a young age will improve our running community for years to come. If these same kids grow up with a love of running and the priority of healthy living, our community will continue to grow and improve. They are the future of Run Louisiana!
3. Mentor program for beginner runners
Raise your hand if you were intimidated at your first 5k or when you considered running for the first time. We believe that the majority of beginner runners feel somewhat overwhelmed, unsure or just plain lost when they first begin running. Knowledge is power and education is key. Giving people the right tools to start running will not only make it more welcoming and enjoyable but this will also help prevent injury and create more running buddies for us all.
4. Public tracks
There are many schools that have running tracks that are limited, if not cut off, from public access. These tracks are well lit and safer places to run, not just because they are gated but because they are clear from all traffic. Even when we take all of the precautions to running on the open road, you are still taking more of a risk than when running on a track. Public access to these tracks will give us more options as runners and is one more way to unify the running community.
There is always room for improvement in anything we do and these are only just a few of the things that we all believe can improve our running community here in Louisiana. Do you agree with us on these points of improvement? What else do you think could make Louisiana more runner friendly now and for the future?