Want to run in the Gasparilla Distance Classic? Tips for new runners

The Upper Tampa Bay Trail.

As we get closer to the Gasparilla Distance Classic races, News Channel 8 is passing on inspirational stories and tips to help you in the journey towards the finish line. Our own Marco Villarreal is getting ready to run the 5K, and he is teaming up with a trainer to get the best running advice.

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — In the Upper Tampa Bay Trail there is plenty to do. You can walk your dogs, ride bikes, fish, and hike.

For those looking to start running, Anthony Bellapigna with the Downtown Tampa YMCA has some great tips.

“You definitely want to make sure you have the right type of equipment like shoes, shorts, and t-shirt, or dry fit shirt,” he says. “You want to wear tight-fitting clothing too. You don’t want it to be too loose for chaffing, or to help prevent chaffing and things like that.”

Having comfortable shoes is a must.

“If you think about how many times, or how many steps you take during your race, you really want to have comfortable shoes, making sure that they’re a good fit for you. Go out and get a good pair of running shoes for your training.”

Bellapigna also suggests taking care of your body.

“Starting with your food intake and your hydration. You want to make sure that you’re eating enough calories to account for the exercise that you’re doing. Don’t stay away from carbs. They’re good for energy on your training runs. Make sure you’re drinking lots of water. Our bodies are made mostly of water, and if you’re out sweating you want to make sure you’re replenishing that water,” said  Bellapigna.

The best advice Bellapigna suggests is to just get out there and start running.

If you’re interested in running with other people, the downtown Tampa YMCA has running groups in the evenings. They meet every Tuesday night at 7 o’clock. The Gasparilla Distance Classic is February 25th and 26th. Registration is open right now for a 5,8, or 15K, and half marathon.

The Upper Tampa Bay Trail.
The Upper Tampa Bay Trail.

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