Start Your New Semester with the Habit of Running

Peter Running

Peter Zhang offers insight on how to start a new habit this semester (Photo Peter Zhang / The Gettysburgian)

By Peter Zhang, Staff Writer

Why running?

Running is easy. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other in a fast pace, and you will be running in no time. Running is one of the best aerobic exercise for your lungs and heart. According to the American Heart Association, you can prevent cardiovascular diseases just by running 75 minutes per week.

Running not only keeps you physically fit, but it also makes you happier. The brain produces a chemical called endorphins when you exercise. When endorphins interact with the receptors, you feel happy, motivated and calm.

Where can you run in Gettysburg?

You can run anywhere; let your heart lead you to places! But you might get lost. Here are some great running routes around Gettysburg’s campus. Remember, the roads in Gettysburg are very much interconnected. So, it would actually be very hard for you to get lost.

Route one: N Stratton Rd -> E Lincoln Ave -> W Lincoln Ave -> N Washington St -> Springs Ave -> N Hay St -> Seminary Ridge -> Fairfield Rd -> Reynolds Ave S -> Stone-Meredith Ave -> turn right to Route 30 -> Rose Horse Alley -> N Stratton Rd.


route 1

You get a relaxing five-mile run following this route.

Route two: E Confederate Road -> Baltimore Pike -> S Confederate -> SW Confederate -> W Confederate -> Herr’s Ridge Rd -> Biglerville Rd -> Carlisle St.

route 2

You get a solid 18 mile run following this route.

If running off campus is not for you, try to run on the track in Musselman Stadium. It is open every day during the semester. Remember that four laps count approximately as one mile. The trick to keep tracking your mileage is to step on the adjacent track when you have accomplished one lap.

How to be prepared
Without proper preparation, running can do damage to your body. Here are some of the tips to prepare you for a pleasant run.

  1. Stretching: Proper stretching helps your muscles to warm up and be flexible. It not only prevents injuries, but also prevents the soreness the day after. Remember that post-run stretching is just as important as the pre-run stretching.
  2. Less layers, more comfort: The weather is still cold for the first few months of the semester. But, you do not want to run in too many layers. Excessive layers will not only slow you down, but also make you sweat more than you should. One way to test whether you have the right amount of layers on is that you should feel chilly when walking outside before running.
  3. Eat before running, stay hydrated: Especially for a pleasant morning run, you want to grab a quick bite from Servo before heading to your adventure. Remember to drink water one hour  prior to your run to avoid going to the restroom during your run. Also, Servo opens late on the weekends, so prepare your breakfast for a morning weekend run.
  4. Meditate during running: Personally, I do not suggest putting on music during running. Listen to the sound of your surroundings and just let your mind take over. Trust me, when you get into your headspace, you will fall in love with running immediately.

Now, you are prepared. Start a new habit this semester: running!

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Author: Peter Zhang

Peter Zhang '21 is a staff writer for The Gettysburgian who writes primarily for the Features and Sports section. He is from Suzhou, China and lived in Los Angeles before coming to Gettysburg where he became a fan of the Dodgers and the Lakers. He is majoring in biochemistry and minoring in computer science.

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