We run together, under a fresh wind!

10th International Marathon "Alexander the Great"

The Marathon

WIND participated, for a fifth time, in Thessaloniki's greatest sporting event, the 10th "Alexander the Great" International Marathon, which took place on Sunday April 5th 2015.

More than 20.000 runners participated in this year's 10th International Marathon “Alexander the Great”, which was organized by the MEAS Triton Thessaloniki, sponsored by Hellenic National Committee of UNESCO, the Hellenic Olympic Committee, SEGAS, AIMS and supported by state institutions, as well as voluntary agents.

WIND, as the Official Sponsor of the International Marathon “Alexander the Great”, Nominal Sponsor of the 5 & 10 km Races, and Official Provider of Telecommunications services of the event, contributed to the promotion of running culture and athleticism, as well as social solidarity.

With the motto "we run together, under a fresh wind", the WIND Running Team, comprised of WIND employees, partners and friends, ran once again for a good cause. The blue team's runners contributed to the efforts to support "THE SMILE OF THE CHILD" and the DOWN SYNDROME SOCIETY OF GREECE. Through the efforts of all participants, €13.000 were raised for the two institutions.

Acting as the WIND Running Team's ambassadors were the TAE KWON DO olympic winner Alexandros Nikolaidis, the singer Eirini Papadopoulou, the TV presenters Sasa Stamati, Giorgos Manikas, Elena Papavasiliou & Stergios Hadabakis, and the fitness trainer Sofie Paschali.

Metropolitan areas may not create the impression of a runner’s “paradise”, but they certainly have enough space for running and other sports activities, which thousands of people visit daily.

For those of you in Athens or Thessaloniki, WIND suggests some suitable spaces where you can enjoy a nice jog. As for you living in the rest of Greece, well, you’re lucky because you can exercise in the best sporting environment, nature!

Langadas Baths

The baths at Langadas, Thessaloniki, are a special place, where one can combine running on a very pleasant track with a spa.

They are located about 30 km from the Thessaloniki city center and just 2 km east of the town of Langadas, covering a total area of about 220 acres.

Around the facilities, there is a dirt track where the ground is excellent, quite soft and flat, ideal for both slow and fast training sessions. There is also plenty of space with playgrounds for the children, but also basketball and volleyball courts, and football fields, free to use for everyone.

Sheikh Sou Forest

This is not a "natural" forest! The forest of Sheikh Sou is one of the few cases where human intervention has created a green oasis!

It is one of the most beautiful places to run in Thessaloniki, which has managed to withstand hardships and fires for years, functioning as the green lung of the "Thermaikos Bride".

The "Sheik's water"

The forest of Sheikh Sou, meaning the "Sheik's water", was named at the time of the Turkish occupation. It is located northeast of the city, between Thessaloniki and Panorama. This is an artificial forest, which was started in 1929 with continuous tree-planting. Today it expands over 30 million square meters, however what's important for runners is its forest routes, with a total length of 170 km.

Access by public transportation is easy, as some buses, such as no. 23, start from the center of town and run along the ring, which contains several entrances, with parking spots in many of them. Alternatively, you can use the "trail" that starts from Kaftantzoglio Stadium between Skoufa and Tsakalof streets and reaches the forest in less than 10 minutes.

For all types of workout

Inside the forest there are many roads, forming dozens of routes to suit all tastes. So, you will discover routes ideal for trail running training, flat routes for fast runs, uphill stretches for special training sessions and endless options for a long, continuous run. The forest is located on a hill, so most routes are steep for the most part - but not prohibitive for running. The soil is an important aspect of this forest, as it is covered by soft dirt, safe and ideal for any type of workout.

Multi terrain routes
Sheikh Sou Forest

The forest offers a variety of routes for all types of workout. You can run by making your own combinations of paths and trails that interest you or follow the proposed route below, which is located in the southern part of the forest, near the ring road.

To reach the point where the route begins, approach the forest from the fire station (ΠΣ mark on the map) near the ring road and head inward, to the east, for 600-700m. After you cross the bridge, you reach the point where the route starts (point #1).

Keep running towards the southeastern part of the forest and after about 1.5 km on the main road, now heading north (point # 2), turn left (point # 3) into a small trail, cross a plateau and continue north. After about 2.3 km (point # 4), turn left heading north-west. Follow the main road and after 1.5 km (point # 5), turn all the way left, now heading southeast. After following this trail for 1,5 km (point # 6), turn right towards the south-west, until you reach the starting point again. The total length of this route is 5 km.


• The forest is near the Kaftantzoglio Stadium, making this a first class opportunity for warm-up and recovery in the Stadium's grass.

• It is a good idea to carry some water or some isotonic drink, as there are no fountains or springs with potable water in the forest.

• For your safety, it is advisable to train during the day or, if you cannot do otherwise, always go with friends.

Thessaloniki Seaside Promenade

The seaside promenade of Thessaloniki is a meeting point and a place for walks and recreation for the city's residents, and also its friends. The seaside promenade, with the White Tower and the statue of Alexander the Great its focal point and trademark, is one the most beautiful spots of Greece's second largest city, next to the sea and ideal for every kind of runner

A scenic route
Thessaloniki Seaside Promenade

The seaside promenade of Thessaloniki is one the most easily accessible "sights" of the city, as it's connected to almost every part of it through public transportation. It's an ideal place for a walk or a run, something that the local runners and walkers make frequent use of for their daily training or stroll. The route we propose starts at the White Tower and extends all the way to the Customs Office. It's a route that offers an enjoyable running experience, as there is ample space, sufficient lighting at night, and you are definitely never going to be bored.

Most importantly, however, the route is ideal for long-distance running, regardless of the pace you choose to follow (Long Run or Tempo Run), because of the great distance, but also the topography, offering an easy and pleasant walking experience, even to novice runners.

Slow but also fast

The suggested route, measuring 4 km, starts off at the Thessaloniki Sailing Club, located about 1.5 km west of the White Tower, on the seaside, then continues parallel to the sea on a track covered in tarmac for the most part, and occasionally pavement. Then, it continues through the city's port, where cars can't come in, which makes running safer. After passing the two ship docks, the route turns slightly to the right and ends at the Customs Office Building.

Of course, you can always run back to the starting point, making this an 8 km run. Alternatively, the route is ideal for long interval training sessions of 4 km or 2 km, because of the smooth terrain and total lack of inclination. The tarmac that lends itself to faster parts, and the milestone notifications along the route are a big help.


• You don't have to worry at all about food or water, as there are both shops and kiosks along the route, so you can buy anything you need.

• This is a safe route, as it is lit all through the night, even inside the harbor.

• Pay extra attention to the shoes you are going to wear to run, as they will have to protect you from the relatively "hard" terrain.


Ask anyone in Thessaloniki, and they will probably know about the Kaftantzogleio Stadium. A place that does not only host high-profile sporting events, like football games or track events, but also hundreds of local runners who train at its various facilities. Of course, between them you will find several runners who cover hundreds of kilometers at the city's most athletic hot spot!

The runner Hot Spot of Thessaloniki!

You don't have to worry about reaching the place, as it is very close to the city center (only 1.5 km) from the White Tower), across the Ag. Dimitriou Ave., at the intersection with Tritis Septembriou Ave. that starts at the seaside. It is right next to the Aristoteleio University. But even if you don't know the streets, remember; everyone in Thessaloniki knows the Kaftantzogleio!

Other than the Central Stadium, widely known for the games it hosts from time to time, the Kaftantzogleio has a wide variety of sports facilities, fields and gymnasiums where one can run, lift weights, and otherwise excersise, and also change after training. Every evening, it becomes a meeting spot for the city's sporty people...

Run under its protection

Besides the auxiliary field with a 400-meter track, but also grass, the runners prefer the track that runs around the central stadium, forming a circle of 640 m. total length, and surrounded by the bleachers throughout. The ground might be a little hard, but it is smooth and totally flat, while the fact that the track is covered means you never have to worry about rain or wind.

At the same time, you have the chance to enhance your training, lifting weights at the gym or excersise on the grass, or even having quick training sessions on the auxiliary stadium's tartan, without looking like an alien!


•Water, isotonic, and anything you need, you can find at the stadium cantina, while several newsstands are close by.

• There is always the alternative of the auxiliary stadium for faster training sessions, but also running on grass.

• The relatively hard terrain of the track demands a good pair of running shoes, but also proper cool-down and stretches after training.

• There are changing rooms next to the auxiliary stadium where you can change after training.

• No runner is worried about rain in the Kaftantzogleio, because the circular track is covered by the bleachers throughout. However, when the weather is nice, you can run on a longer track that consists of a wider circle, where every circle is about 700 m. long.

N. Smyrni Park

It has always been a "hangout" of sports lovers. In recent years, however, it has become essential for runners of every level, as well as for those who love walking in general. This is the Park of Nea Smyrni, which was recently renovated and has become an everyday meeting place for hundreds of exercise lovers.

The Park's "anatomy"

Easy access, the beautiful green and well cared for environment, as well as its really smooth dirt paths, are some of the main features of the Park, which is a hallmark of the region.

N. Smyrni Park

The Park is located near the main square, so distance is not a problem for nearby residents. Moreover, those who come from nearby municipalities are served by a tram stop, just a few meters from the main entrance. So, at any time of day, one can find people running.

The area is fenced and guarded, open to the public from 06:00 to 21:00. The park is surrounded by Patriarchou Ioakim, Kordeliou and Efessou streets and Eleftherios Venizelos Ave., and has 4 main entrances (2 on the El. Venizelos Ave. and 2 on Kordeliou Street).

The route

The main route that runs around the park is circular and 800 m long. The soil consists of dirt, fairly soft and suitable for running, with several wide stretches, although you will find bottlenecks during peak hours. The route is characterized by a relatively steep downhill slope on the one side, which is uphill on the other side, with two intermediate level sections.

If you're new to running, do not be fooled by the downhill slope and increase your pace. Run relaxed for two or three laps, until you get acquainted with the place, so as not to be taken by surprise.

In the heart of the park you will meet a smaller path, 500 m long. This is an easier one. So, it might be a good idea to start with it.

Both routes, however, are suitable for walking or jogging, as a matter of fact with alternating pace, while the variations in elevation are ideal to improve your endurance.

A playground operates within the Park, while there are fountains with drinking water.


During the summer months and especially in the afternoon, there are swarms of small flies, which are particularly annoying if they get in your eyes and even more if you swallow them! You can avoid the first case by wearing a pair of glasses. As for the second one, you spot at the first turn the spots that are filled with bugs and then keep your mouth shut every time you pass from there.

Flisvos Marina

Very close to the city center, at the Trocadero area of Paleo Faliro, you will discover a small "paradise" for runners. Residents of the southern suburbs can enjoy it on a daily basis, however it is easily accessible from all over Athens.

This is where the Flisvos marina is located, with tens of yachts, the Averof historic warship, moored in Faliro bay, an impressive full-size ancient trireme and, of course, lots of runners and bikers who take the opportunity to exercise while enjoying the view and the sea breeze.

Sea breeze

A Greek's heart always has a place for the sea. So, it makes perfect sense that an area where one can combine exercise with recreation is the favorite of both nearby residents and runners from all over Athens. Besides, the Flisvos marina is just 6 km from the city center and is easily accessible from all over Attica by means of the National Road, just 4 km away.

If you prefer public transportation, the area is served by several bus lines with itineraries to Elliniko, Glyfada and Voula, while it is also accessible by tram. One of the positive aspects of the area is the ability to chose among alternative routes that will make your daily training even more fun.

The scenic route
Flisvos Marina

The area is ideal for continuous running, while the route we propose starts from the auxiliary road parallel to the seashore avenue, passes through the marina, continues along the seashore road and meets again the auxiliary road. So, in order to start the route, you should start from the stadium and follow the road to the right. This way, you cover a circular course around the western part of the area. Then, after you reach the marina, continue in front of it running across it, along the moored yachts and the shops.

As soon as you reach its end, turn left and, after you pass the Averof warship and the Ancient Trireme in your left, you will face the Tae Kwon Do arena. Continue to the right and, as soon as you meet the traffic lights, turn right returning to the starting point on the auxiliary road.

This route covers a distance of 2,5 km, the greatest part of which consists of tarmac, while there are also slab-paved parts, right in front of the sea.

Alternatively, you can also try the shorter route in the newly built part of the Faliro seashore, starting from the southern part of the marina and extending up to Flisvos park. This is a straight 500 meters long, ideal for timed and fast runs.


If you need an extra edge for your training, you will be very interested in the nearby Faliro Sports Centre, which hosts various sports facilities like a track and field stadium, a competition pool, tennis courts, etc. This way you can complete your training in the stadium or facilitate your stretching or even relax on the tartan, with its 200 meter track.

Although the area is well lit at night, it is best to avoid the hustle of training there on Friday and Saturday nights as, due to the nearby nightlife venues, the area is crowded.

Ag. Kosmas National Youth Sports Center

If you want to train, meet other runners, relax at any time in the day, even have a cup of coffee at a purely sports-oriented near the sea, then you have to check out the facilities of Ag. Kosmas NYSC. And if all that is not enough for you, the special track made specifically for runners, offering some excellent terrain, will make you think again.

Easy access

The central entrance to the Ag. Kosmas facilities are on the coastal Poseidonos Ave., at Elliniko, just across from the old airport. If you choose to go there via public transportation, you have a variety of choices, as all the city buses that run along the coastal avenue stop at the entrance (A1, E1, A2, E2, E22, B2, etc.)

Remember to get off at the "1 Ag. Kosmas" stop. If you prefer the tram, the line towards Voula stops at the exact same spot. Finally, if you prefer transportation by car, there is a large parking area, where you won't have trouble finding a parking space, except maybe on the weekends, when several people gather to train.

A model track
Ag. Kosmas National Youth Sports Center

The track is circular and covers almost the entire periphery of the facilities. Picking the paved surface as an imaginary starting point (Point 1), located at the northeastern edge of the dirt football field ("Χ.Γ.Π.") adjacent to the location, the track turns north and heads towards the 5x5 football fields. After you've gone a few meters on tarmac, continue to the right behind the NYSC administrative building, until you meet vertically the road leading toward the athletes' quarters (Point 2). Turn left, and for a short section, you move parallel to the coastal avenue, then return by turning left (Point 3) toward the initial starting point.

From there, continue parallel to the small straight line of the "Χ.Γ.Π." and after turning right (Point 4), move parallel to the coastal avenue, heading towards Glyfada. After the hockey field, turn right, heading towards the track field. Pass the southeastern side of the stadium, behind the gymnasium, where, turning almost vertically left (Point 5), you will head circumferentially towards the southern side of the facilities, following the outer fence, until you return to the starting point and close the circle.

The total length of the track is around 2.7 km, with most of them covered by soft, high-quality dirt, that, thanks to the proper laying method, does not hold any water, even after a heavy rainfall.

Unfortunately, as the width of the track is small (up to two persons), it is advisable to follow the specified direction, even at the spots where the track seems to follow the same path.


• If your training program is heavy and your time limited, you will find it quite useful to know that the facilities are open from very early in the morning to very late at night, so you can stay true to your schedule.

• Lighting is satisfactory for the most part, but you must be quite careful at night.

• The best thing is you don't have to worry about supplies, as you can find fountains with potable water, a refectory, and even an automatic vending machine (at the track changing rooms) for water, isotonic drinks or energy bars.

• Easy access, the possibility for parallel activities (basketball courts, football fields, etc.) the playground (for family walks), and the cafeteria (to take a breather), are some of the amenities. And of course, you will never get bored, because of the constant shift in landscape that's pleasing to the eye.

• The facilities are ideal to form a running group, as they attract a large number of runners, as well as other other athletes who come to train. You must pay attention to the spots that cross the internal road of the facilities, especially in the northern side where the athletes' guestrooms are, as it is used by cars.

National Garden

When you think of the Athens city center, your mind goes directly to cement, car exhausts, traffic chaos and a real pandemonium, so it is difficult to imagine that you could find a suitable place to run nearby.

However, probably the best place for running in the city is right in its heart! The National Garden, next to the Parliament building and the Zappeion, is a real green oasis in the center of Athens, with its rich vegetation, really smooth trails with soft soil, a number of routes and protection from the wind and sun. So it is no coincidence that hundreds of runners of every level prefer it for their workouts.

In the heart of the city
National Garden

Thanks to its location, it is very easy to access the National Garden. You can reach it by Metro (Syntagma station), bus or even on foot, in a very short time. It is the home of thousands of different species of plants and trees, which offer their rich shadow and make it a place of relaxation, away from the tension and stress of everyday life. Its paths are wide enough, and there are both uphill and downhill sections, which help you meet the needs of your workout.

The area is fenced and guarded. Moreover, it is open to the public from sunrise to sunset, which limits its accessibility during the winter months. It has a total of six entries, one on V. Amalias Ave., one on V. Sophias Ave., two on Herod Atticus St. and two on the road that separates it from the Zappeion.

The route

The route we suggest (see map) has a length of 1,500 m and is fairly easy, as it has very small slopes. The starting point is at the entrance right behind the Zappeion, near Aegle (a cafe and open air cinema).

Do not worry in case you get lost! You can plan your own route or ask another runner who runs at the same time.

You also run in the path surrounding the garden, keeping always on you same side (depending on the direction in which you are running) the bars that protect it. The distance is also 1,500m, however, this route has many uphills and downhills.

In the garden, there is a playground and there are fountains with drinking water and many benches where you can do your stretching, or just relax after running. Also, there is a small zoo, and a beautiful small coffee shop at the entrance from Herod Atticus Street.


• In the early morning of Saturday and Sunday, you can park in front of the Zappeion, entering through the entrance located on V. Olgas Ave.

• If you also want to run on tarmac for a change, you can easily use the roads around the Zappeion.

Armed Forces Heroes Park, Moschato

The Armed Forces Heroes Park is a "hidden" park in the heart of Athens, in the Municipality of Moschato - Tavros, very close to Athens city center. The park covers a total area of about 12 acres, and is located between the avenues of Konstantinoupoleos, Petrou Ralli, and Eirinis, and belongs to the Ministry of Defense, which landscaped it and offered it to the Municipality of Tavros for public use in 1997.

The park is covered in green at several spots, while there is a lot of trees and bushes, giving the Athens city center a taste of countryside. Also, the park includes a refectory, an open-air public cinema, a traffic training park, an open-air theater, and a playground.

The central entrance is on Konstantinoupoleos Ave. In case one does not have access to their own transportation, one can reach the park by taking a bus (21, 838, B18, Γ18 - stops Psygeia or Rouf), or the suburban railway (stop Rouf). For those who approach the park by car or motorbike, there is plenty of parking space. Finally, the park has four entrances: one on Eirinis Ave., one on Achilleos Ave., one on Samou St., and one on Konstantinoupoleos Ave.

Anyone can carve out their own way in the park. However, the one preferred by most runners visiting the park has a length of 1,070 m, and is covered mainly by a dirt path, with small parts covered by tarmac and dirt road.

Besides that track, there are other paths and roads you can use for training, either continuous, or in intervals, while the bleachers of the open-air theater can be used for strengthening excersises (steps, etc.). Moreover, inside the park there is a refectory, and also a playground and a traffic training park for the children.

Environmental Awareness Park 'Antonis Tritsis'

The park has easy access and four main entrances. Two of these are located in Hassias Avenue (one near the N. Liossia stadium and one near the Youth Centre of the Attica Science Foundation), one from the Dimokratias Avenue (near Carrefour) and one on Bibiza street, connecting the two avenues.

You can park almost at any time of day at the parking lots in the adjacent roads, but parking may be difficult to find on days when cultural events are organized in the park, due to the number of visitors.

You can see how to access the park in its website www.parkotritsi.gr/prosvasi-autokinito.htm both by car and by public transportation.

The routes

Although the park has numerous routes and trails, two of them can cover the needs of every runner, the yellow one, 1.5 km long, and the red one, 5.5 km long.

Both routes pass through the most beautiful parts of the park, have smooth soil, mainly of dirt, and small variations that simply make your running more interesting.

Environmental Awareness Park "Antonis Tritsis"

The bigger route (red) starts from the same spot and is the same up to the reeds, where you turn right. Running parallel to the tracks, pass the wooden roof to the right towards the western gate and, as soon as you reach the bridge, turn around and run to the birds sign in the canal, opposite the entrance to the organic products area. Keep running alongside the canal and towards the stadium. Keep running straight down and cross the half-open iron door above the train tracks. Turn sharply to the left and, as soon as you go through the new door turn right again. Continue to the large road on the left and, after 150 meters, turn right again towards the south gate.

Just before the gate, turn left and follow the new path through the woods to the southeastern lower gate. Keep running alongside the barbed wire and, at the end of the straight, turn right and go again at the door. Then go right towards the stadium and the parking lot at the end of the road, turn left at the bar and turn right, going upwards. This time you cross the canal from the right and climb to the open cafe with the sunshades. Just before the cafe, turn right, descend a short but very steep slope and run towards the gate next to Carrefour. Turn left and run again into the main dirt road, where you go right again and run upwards, until you meet the starting point, the fountain.


• The largest part of the park is very well lit, so you can train at any time of day.

• If you're a social person, you will like especially the mornings of Saturday and Sunday, when there are lots of people coming to enjoy the park.

• The park is also ideal for a variety of sports activities from cycling, horseriding, football (at the Ilion sports center) to many activities for children (playground, environmental education seminars, scouts training center, etc.).

Syngrou Estate

The scenery hides the fact that you are located in one of Athens' parks. The dense vegetation, the quiet roads, the countless choices of paths for running, walking or even cycling with varying degrees of difficulty, and the easy access make the Syngrou Estate the ideal choice for most areas of the basin and especially for the lucky neighbors – residents of Maroussi, Kifisia, Pefki, Vrilissia, Penteli, Acharnae, Melissia and Lykovrisi.

More than just a park

The Syngrou Estate lies on the border between Kifissia and Maroussi, and is an ideal venue for various sports activities, while it contains a school, agronomic and beekeeping training facilities, the open theater of Anavryta and a soccer field, with a small dirt track of 200 meters. The estate is open from sunrise till sunset.

Access is easy from Kifissias Avenue (exit from Attiki Odos at the Kifissias junction towards Kifissia, 2 km in that direction), while it is also served by the KAT station of ISAP (line 1 of Athens metro), as well as most busses on Kifissias Ave.

There are 7 entries in total, 4 from the side of Kifissias Ave. (the entrance near KAT also has a large parking) and 3 more (in V. Ipirou and Efkalypton streets).

A variety of routes

The route around the estate is about 4 km long and has considerable difficulty, especially in its second half (northeastern part). There is also a route of about 2 km (2080m).

The starting point of this circular route is in the open area south of the small stadium can by identified by a stone fountain. The 1000 m mark in this route is near the fire hydrant at the lower (southern) part of the route. The southern part of the park is the easiest one, as the elevation differences are very small, the ground is smoother with enough tarmac and it is suitable for more inexperienced runners or those who want to run fast.

The Syngrou Estate is perfect for uphill workouts, since one can find almost any combination of slopes and lengths.

It is also a great place for mid- and long-term training, as the constant fluctuations help the muscles grow stronger, as long as the pace is monitored and workouts do not end up in exhaustive races.

Syngrou Estate

See 4 routes we have selected. With a little exploration, you can also create your own!

Red Distance: 4,100 m The red route runs all around the estate. It is particularly difficult in the Northeastern part, with steep uphills and frequent variations.

Blue Distance: 4,000 m Similar to the red one for about the first 2.4 km, where a left turn provides an opportunity to take a few breaths. It continues past the center of the estate towards the stadium, as well as with several variations of slopes.

Green Distance: 2,080 m Downhill for the first kilometer, and then only the tough get going. It is used for interval training by several athletes or for quick continuous running.

Purple Distance: 1,250 m It starts from the south part of the estate and consists almost exclusively of 4 long straights. It's certainly the easiest one, still including uphills, and the soil is mostly tarmac.


• It is wise, before starting to hanging out in the estate, to walk the routes you are interested in, as this way you will become familiar with the environment, learn the peculiarities of the soil and deal more easily with any difficulties you will face.

• Anyway, if you do not like rough training, try to move around the easier southern part, at least in the beginning.

• You will meet many uphills and downhills, but if you adjust your running they will be piece of cake. So when climbing make sure to throw your weight slightly forward, to make small strides ant to keep your pace by working more with your hands. On the other hand, you should not let downhill slopes drag you down with their convenience and make you run faster, as this will burden your kneed and forceps.

Useful Tips

If you think running is only for a select few, think again! Running is for everyone, as it is one of the most popular, easiest and most effective forms of exercise, regardless of age, gender, and fitness level. Moreover, summer is the perfect time to start, so do not delay at all!

Put on your trainers and visit the nearest field or park! However, since the beginning is half the battle, stay tuned to WIND's site and learn what any aspiring racer needs to know.

It's nice to have someone by your side to guide you... Discover different coaching tips collected by WIND, for all aspiring runners.

Main Τool

Centuries ago, people were running barefoot but there is no need now to end up with injured feet. Shoes are the main tool of each runner and you should give great care and not necessarily a lot of money to choose what suits you. First you will have to find out which is your foot type. To do that, you have to step barefoot with your feet on dry tiles or on rice paper.

So, depending on whether you have a normal, high (small print) or flat (big print) arch, it is possible to have neutral pronation, underpronation (stepping with the outside of the foot) or overpronation (too much roll of the foot to the inside of the foot), respectively. The next step is to visit a specialized store and ask for a model suitable to your foot type.

The Value of Water

Adequate water consumption is the single most important thing for the proper functioning of the body. Also, don't forget that in the days you plan to train in running, you should consume even more water as you need to cover losses from sweating. Make sure to drink occasionally 100 - 300ml of water, reaching or exceeding a total of 1,5l per day.

Remember not to wait until you are thirsty to drink water, because the sensation of thirst indicates that the body has "run out". When measuring the drinking volume, you should not also include drinks like coffee and tea. These drinks are causing dehydration, increasing the need in water. Finally, it is advisable to drink a glass 20 to 30 minutes before your workout, especially when the weather is very hot.

Breathe Freely

Many people who run occasionally, along with some regular runners, oppress their breathing, thinking that we should breathe a certain way, e.g. using only the nose. It is wrong to follow this tactic, as running should be relaxed. Breathe freely through both the nose and mouth, letting your body set the rhythm.

It is certainly good to start at a slow pace, avoiding high speeds and severe shortness of breath. To be sure you have the right pace, you should be able to talk with your friends at the same time as running. So, your running will be safer, you will gradually gain the necessary experience and, most importantly, you will enjoy it more!

Dress code

Well, running is simple, but it is not OK to hit the road wearing just about anything! In months with high temperatures, you should protect yourself from sunlight, always applying sunscreen at least half an hour before you go running, wearing a hat, sunglasses, preferably a running shirt and similar shorts or leggings, which allow the quick removal of perspiration.

Now, if you prefer to run in the afternoon and evening hours, you can leave aside hat, sunscreen and sunglasses, but make sure your clothes allow free movement of the body, provide proper ventilation, do not cause irritations in points with greater friction (abductors, armpits, etc.) and ideally have some reflective markings, so people around can see you when it gets dark.

Set a goal

In every new effort, you must set a goal. The same is true for running! Setting goals serves as extra incentive, because you put yourself in a pleasant process of commitment. Make sure that your goals are realistic and not too demanding, depending on the available time, the level of your fitness, and also how much you want to get involved in running.

As long as you keep achieving them and after you find a way to celebrate, they should be renewed. So, if you are new to running, you can set a goal to run continuously for 30 minutes or to cover 10 consecutive rounds in a stadium, within two weeks. If you run regularly, you can enroll with the WIND Running Team for the WIND 5 and 10 km Road Races, as part of the 31st Athens Classic Marathon.

Continuous Running

One of the most essential and simplest forms of training is "continuous running", which means simply running for a predetermined period of time without any breaks. Start very slowly for the first 10-15 minutes to warm up your muscles and then follow a steady but comfortable pace, which you can maintain until the end of training.

This significantly improves the aerobic capacity of your body, and when it exceeds 30 minutes, you burn more fat. If you want to make your workout a little more interesting, increase the pace for 5-10 minutes near the end, making sure to run very relaxed for 5 minutes at the very end, for recovery.

Strong Muscles

Strength training is the best way to prevent potential injuries. A strong muscular system adapts better to the training stimuli and lasts longer.

For this reason, include once or twice in your weekly schedule (on days with a somewhat relaxed workout) exercises to strengthen the legs, waist and torso. You can choose from exercises with movement, isometric exercises (using your own body's weight), exercises with resistance bands, weight training, Swiss ball exercises, and jumping exercises.

Protect your Feet

Frequent change of shoes is another way to maintain healthy feet. You should change shoes every 600 to 800 km or every 8-10 months, so they provide the greatest possible protection.

In addition to that, they significantly improve the mood for running, and the feeling of new shoes is unique! Take care, however, if you are about to take part in a race! In this case, you should have worn them for at least 10 days, so they will have taken the form of your feet and you will not experience any unpleasant surprises.

Control Route

A good way to keep track of your progress is to select a route that you like, the length of which you know, and to run along this route at regular intervals and measure your time. Just try to have the same feeling each time, for a more objective outcome. You can also use intermediate check points (e.g. a known building or an intersection), in order to have the same interest throughout the workout.

The Right Companion

Running is considered a lonely sport, but when you have company, training time goes by quickly and pleasantly. A basic requirement in this case is to choose the right company. This is because if your level of fitness varies greatly, then you risk either running slowly or painfully struggling in each workout, chasing your faster friend.

The first case is better, of course, as you may not make so much progress, but you are running safely, while in the second case there is a great risk of fatigue or injury.

Your... Strength

Right after a relaxed workout is the best time for some strengthening exercises to fortify your muscles from injuries and give you the extra power you need to increase your speed and your stamina. Prefer exercises for the calves, forceps and biceps, by performing 2-4 sets of 10-15 repetitions for each leg, ideally using your own body's weight.

Take your Time

Running may be over, but not the workout. It's always good to dedicate at the end of your workout 10 minutes for stretching, which should be static, in most muscle groups of the legs, with a duration of 15-20 seconds each.

Schedules are not Forever

You follow a training schedule for a long time and adhere to it religiously, but now something has come up and you must postpone your workout or change it. Do not worry. Nothing is lost with a day with no training. If you are too tired, take some rest and simply shift your schedule by one day. Again, if you find some time and you're not exhausted, do a relaxation workout and follow your schedule the next day.

Learn About Pick-Ups

The sound of the word may give the wrong impression... However in the runner's lingo a "pick-up" is the relatively fast paced (quicker than warm-up) but comfortable running for a short distance (60-100 m), repeated 4-10 times or after a warm-up in interval training or after a free run. Pick-ups aim at helping you strengthen your body, warm up better, improve your stamina at highest speeds and correct your technique.

Two choices

If you finished your training, which included continuous running, and you feel that you still have a lot of stamina and appetite for something more, then among all your options two are the best: run for 10-15 minutes more, at the same rate, avoiding of course to increase the pace too much or do some stretching exercises and then perform some pick-ups (4-8) with a relatively short break between them.

Wash with Care

You have already traveled several kilometers and proudly display your dirty running shoes to your friends just before washing them. You should be careful, however, as running shoes should not be washed in the washing machine and specifically not be washed using hot water, as this will damage their rubber parts and consequently affect their performance. It is better to wash them using cold water by hand or clean their exterior using a damp cloth, making sure not to heat them at high temperatures (using a hair dryer, clothes dryer, etc.).

Keep Notes

It is a good idea to keep a record of your training programs, so as to be able to assess your progress and to better plan your future training. You can even write down additional details, such as your mood every day, the quality of your sleep, the weather conditions and an assessment of your performance so you can later compare the extent of your improvement.

The value of water

Adequate water consumption is the single most important thing for the proper functioning of the body. Also, don't forget that in the days you plan to train, you should consume even more water as you need to cover losses from sweating. Make sure to drink occasionally 100 - 300ml of water, reaching or exceeding a total of 1,5l per day. Remember not to wait until you are thirsty to drink water, because the sensation of thirst indicates that the body has "run out". When measuring the drinking volume, you should not include drinks like coffee and tea as well. These drinks cause dehydration, increasing the need for water. Finally, it is advisable to drink a glass 20 to 30 minutes before your workout, especially when the weather is very hot.

Tell your doctor

Before starting any sports activity, it is good to visit a doctor (ideally a sports specialist), who'll make the necessary examinations and make sure that you are typically ready to hit the road. It may be the most awkward stage before you get started, but it is necessary because, as we know, prevention is much more important than treatment. Furthermore, in case of any muscular-skeletal disorder, the specialist will give you tips on things to avoid and others on things to do, in order to enjoy every single meter of your runs.

Natural energy

Other than delicious and healthy, fruit are a good natural source of energy, vitamins and minerals. It is best to consume whole fruit, ideally including their skin, depending on the fruit, instead of drinking fruit juice, as this helps you receive greater amounts of vitamins. Now, if you're a real fan of juice, then it is better to prepare it in a mixer than using a juice extractor, since this way the fruit retain more nutrients.

Do not be fooled

Some people wear a lot of clothes while running because they want to sweat more, believing that this will make them lose more weight. If you're one of them, then you should immediately change your habits, as too much increase in body temperature results in significant loss of fluid and not fat, but when this happens systematically at a very intense level it can cause health problems.

One pain does not bring disaster

Every time you experience pain during a workout does not mean disaster. Evaluate it according to its intensity and frequency, as well as the spot where it occurs. If it is intense, stop training. If it insists for the next two days, after at least one day of rest, then you should visit a specialist (doctor, physiotherapist, etc.).

Blow off steam

You are angry with what has happened to you during the day and the last thing you can think of is to go running. Yet it is the best option because, after a few minutes of running, you will have calmed down and will have forgotten everything. There is no more to say; next time you need to calm down, just try it!

Have a positive attitude

Are you reluctant to step on the treadmill every time you are at the gym? Wrong! Now you are a runner and certainly you prefer to run in the open, but if this is not convenient running on the treadmill is just as effective, as it will improve your stamina and performance while providing certain advantages, such as good absorption of vibrations, full control over speed, inclination and distance traveled, as well as measuring your pulse rate and calories burnt and providing easy hydration.

Do not forget about breakfast

Did you decide to run in the morning? This does not mean that you should not eat breakfast! Even if you run a very short time after the time you got up, you should eat a small snack, like a toast with honey, a fruit (e.g. a banana) or just a piece of bread. That way, your body will get an amount of energy and will be able to perform better, while during the day, you will be less hungry, as this will have activated your metabolism.

Less and more often

It is good to eat many small meals throughout the day to keep your energy high. So, apart from the main meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner, it is good to add to your diet intermediate smaller meals with fruit, toast, unsalted nuts, fresh juice, etc.

'Pocket' meal

If you become hungry just before the workout and you have hardly eaten anything all day, try eating a cereal energy bar and drinking an isotonic, energy drink. This will satisfy your hunger and give you the necessary energy, with no burden to your stomach.

Take your time...

You started running because you want to lose weight. So far so good. There is no need to worry or to rush if you do not reach the results you want. Your body needs time to adjust to your new habit and the fact that it consumes some extra calories does not mean that you will lose weight so fast. In fact, do not panic if you gain a bit of weight at the very start. As strange as it seems, strengthening of your muscles is accompanied by a slight weight gain and fluid retention.

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