Sketch of group running.

Running 101 – Celebrate Global Running Day

Posted on by Hannah Murphy. This entry was posted in Being Active. Bookmark the permalink.

June 5 is Global Running Day and The Whole U is celebrating by encouraging everyone to run or walk for one mile or more to reach the goal of 2024 miles together. It’s not too late to register and join the Whole U in celebrating Global Running Day!

Last week, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Lauren Updyke, executive director of The Whole U and UWHR chief of wellness, to discuss running. Lauren started running at the age of 11 and has since achieved remarkable milestones, including competing in the Canadian National Cross-Country finals, earning a team gold medal and competing as a Division 1 track and field athlete. She has continued to excel and has since completed over 30 marathons, including her first ultra marathon in 2024. With more than 20 years of experience, she has passionately coached thousands of runners, from beginners to seasoned athletes, inspiring them with her dedication and expertise. We asked her:

What are the benefits of running?

  • Running improves your mood.
  • Running increases your cardiovascular health.
  • Running helps to build strong bones, as it is a weight bearing exercise.

How do you start if you have never been a runner?

Start off slow and with a walking break in between. So many people want to start off and see how far they can go before walking. Any type of running is great but if you are really wanting to enjoy this experience, start off with interval type of running. Run for 30 seconds, then walk for 30 seconds and repeat this for a mile or two. If you don’t have a watch, no worries. Run to different landmarks on the trail or sidewalk and take walk breaks throughout the run. Check out all of the walk, walk/run, and running plans below. The key to success is to stay consistent with a plan. Over time your body will adapt and running will feel a little bit easier than the week before.

How should I enhance my running skills?

If you are trying to improve your running pace then you must train in an uncomfortable state. I know, it isn’t always the most fun :-). Hill training, interval training and tempo training are the best ways to improve your running skills. Running the same pace and the same distance for every run is great to stay consistent but it will not provide optimal results if that is what you are looking for. Find a hill and run hard up the hill and walk down for recovery and repeat this 4-8 times once a week. Intervals are when you run fast for a period of time (30 seconds to 3 minutes) and then easy jog or walk or recovery. Usually intervals would be repeated 4-10 repeats. Tempo training is when you run for a longer period of time at a high intensity (10-45 minutes). Another tip I like to provide is making sure that your easy runs and longer runs are EASY.  You should be able to carry a conversation throughout these runs.  Easy runs are a great method to increase your endurance. Also, signing up for races is a great way to increase your commitment to this lifetime sport. Lastly, find a running buddy or club to join. Running can be fun with others and you naturally push each other along the way.

Quality vs. quantity has always been my mantra when training for a race or training to get better. Once you are consistent with your running, be sure to run just 3-4 days a week and cross train and strength train the other days. Running more than that can lead to injury or overall fatigue not allowing you to recover and give your best.

The Whole U resources


Running injuries – symptoms and treatment

To understand, prevent and treat common running injuries, we consulted Dr. Charles D Kenyon of UW Medicine, who is board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation and sports medicine. Dr. Kenyon started the discussion off with stating that running is an incredible way to improve your cardiovascular fitness and overall health.

 “As sports medicine physicians, we feel the health benefits of physical activity such as running outweigh the risks of both sedentary lifestyles and potential injury.”

-Dr. Charles D Kenyon


What are common running injuries? 

Dr. Kenyon listed common running injuries such as tendinopathies, or tendon related pain in the patellar tendon (knee), Achilles’ Tendon (heel) and hamstring (thigh). Other injuries that could occur in high- volume runners is; pain in front of their knee known as patello-femoral pain syndrome (Runners Knee) or pain in their lower legs related to medial tibial-stress syndrome (Shin splits).

Dr. Kenyon pointed out that it is important for people to know that studies have shown that typical recreational runners are NOT at increased risk for developing arthritis of the knee or hip compared to the general population. He continued by stating “The benefits of running such as maintaining a healthy weight and optimizing metabolic health may in fact be protective in mitigating functional limitations due to osteoarthritis as we age.”

How to prevent running Injuries?

Dr. Kenyon expressed that a proper dynamic warm-up and strength routine focused on activation of hips, core and lower extremities can mitigate the risk of injury in runners. Gradual progression of training loads can help the body safely prepare for higher training intensities. Proper training volume increases have been correlated with lower risk of injury across several sports.

How to Treat running Injuries?

Dr. Kenyon was able to give recommendations on how to treat common running injuries.  Tendinopathies and patellofemoral related pain can typically respond well to activity modifications, targeted stretching/strengthening and addressing mechanical factors in running gait. Serious bone stress injuries may require a period of protection and offloading to heal properly. In cases of persisting pain that is getting worse with running or significantly altering your physical activity, it is recommend consulting with a sports medicine physician for a comprehensive evaluation and treatment plan which may include formal physical therapy, home exercises, additional in-clinic diagnostic testing such as x-rays or ultrasound, and targeted interventions when clinically appropriate.

Running safety 

Running/ walking outdoors is great for your mental and physical health, but it is important to stay safe while doing so. Explore guidelines to keep you and your running peers safe. Following these tips can help you enjoy the benefits of outdoor exercise while staying safe.

Looking to plan your next run? See below for upcoming races in the Seattle area.

Seattle Marathon Summer Events – June 22, 2024

UW Medicine Seattle Marathon – December 1, 2024


Be sure to use the discount code of UWPartner for 10% off all Seattle Marathon Events.