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Photo credit: Brno Daily.

I am a runner. I am not a fast runner or a great runner, but I force myself to run in order to allow for beer drinking. Oftentimes, friends and colleagues ask me for advice on how to start running. I do not consider myself an expert but I have run for many years, completed many races and overcome many out-of-shape downtimes that required renewed focus to, basically, start all over again — so, I guess, I have some real-life experience and I know what works for me.

My advice: Running is a routine, so establish it as one of your regular activities for at least a month. Start slow with really short runs. Gradually increase the distance and keep it going. After a week your body will start to feel a little bit better. Keep going. After about a month you will be to a point where your runs are pleasant. Keep going. You will lose weight, gain fitness, sleep better, think better and generally have a more positive attitude. So keep going.

The routine is something that many runners find soothing, both psychologically because of the regularity and pharmacologically because of the natural endorphins. When there is an interruption, it is easy to get crabby.

Know that it is hard to gain momentum and, once you have, the forward progress becomes easier to maintain. Of course, be careful that the momentum doesn’t crash out on the couch too often.

* * *

Summer is the best time of the year to start running. Some days it may be hot, but the mornings and evenings generally have the perfect temperature. Brno is full of runners and runs to use as motivation. Start now, and you could be ready for the annual Vokolo Priglu on Oct. 12 and complete the 14.1-km course for a sense of accomplishment that will propel you to even more running.

There are many races in the area over the next few months. You need not be competitive. They serve as good goals to work toward.

TriExpert Cup

Every Wednesday at 6 p.m. at various locations around Brno.

If you want routine, TriExpert Cup provides a perfect, weekly run. Each race attracts more than 200 runners. Some courses are flat and long, others are short and hilly. They are all within the Brno mass transport system — July 24 Líšeň, 11 km; July 31 Popůvky, 7,9 km; Aug. 7 Hotel Myslivna, 7 km; Aug. 14 Palackého vrch, 7.1 km; Aug. 21 timed hourlong run at Atletický stadion Pod Palackého vrchem; Aug. 28 Obřany, 8.8 km; Sept. 4 Hotel Myslivna, 7 km; and Sept. 11 Pisárky, 6 km. For more information, click here.

Luděk’s Run

First Saturday of every month at Kravy Hora, 4.5 km.

A nice excuse to get out and get moving in a non-competitive setting. For more information, click here.

Brněnské běhy

Several Thursdays at various locations around Brno.

There are three runs left in the series — Aug. 15 Běh okolo Olympie, 5.8 km; Sept. 12 Běh Akátkami, 5.2 km; and Oct. 10 Běh okolo Campusu, 5.6 km. For more information, click here.

Zoo Run

Saturday, Sept. 15 at 11 a.m. at the Brno Zoo, 7 km.

A great event for the family: one spouse runs, the other enjoys the zoo with the kids. There are a lot of hills. For more information, click here.

5|10 Mile Night Run

Saturday, Sept. 21, at 8 p.m. on Husova Street, 5 or 10 miles.

The night run winds through Špilberk Castle, around the Cathedral of Peter and Paul and down through Zelný trh. For more information, click here.

Vokolo Priglu

Saturday, Oct. 12, at about 10:45 a.m., at the Brněnská přehrada, 14.1 km.

This traditional race is one time around the Brno Lake. It starts on the road to Veveri Castle, cuts across the bridge and comes back down the other side along the cliff-side trail and the public beaches back to the beginning. Space is often limited so register early. For more information, click here.

Running is one step in front of another, one training run after another, one month after another, and, when you build up some history, the same race one year after another.

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