Get off the couch and start getting ready for your first 5K

If you start a runner’s training program, you can look like this group – a SIX03 Endurance Pub Run group, photographed in front of the State House in 2016 – in no time. It might be a little late to start training for this year’s Rock ’N Race, but there are tons of races until next year’s.
If you start a runner’s training program, you can look like this group – a SIX03 Endurance Pub Run group, photographed in front of the State House in 2016 – in no time. It might be a little late to start training for this year’s Rock ’N Race, but there are tons of races until next year’s.

If you’re like Tim and myself, you’ve probably logged more hours on the couch than on the road race circuit in your life.

While that is, of course, all fine and good, we understand that a lot of folks have aspirations of running in 5Ks and other big races, but since they’ve been primarily lounging around for the past however many years, they don’t know what to do or where to begin.

Luckily, we’re here to help.

Runner’s Alley on North Main Street is kind of Concord’s running headquarters. It’s a shoe store, yes, but it’s also sort of a lifestyle business that includes organized group runs, training programs and a general sense of community. Notably, they have a beginner’s 5K training program that’s pretty comprehensive.

Just as a disclaimer – it’s too late to join now to get in shape for this year’s Rock ’N Race, but there’s also a fall training session that starts in late August. That program is the same as the spring one, and you can sign up by going to runnersalley.com/groups/beginner-5k and bringing the registration form into the store.

The 5K training program is an eight-week course in which sessions are held twice a week. The program is really aimed at beginners, so you don’t need to feel nervous or embarrassed if, like us, the only running you do is chasing after your toddler. It is designed specifically to get you ready for a 5K, so if you have higher goals, this may not be the best program for you (though Runner’s Alley also offers half-marathon training programs as well). That said, if you haven’t done any real running in a long time, this is probably the best place to start.

The program costs $75 and includes:

16 supported training sessions

A short-sleeve Runner’s Alley Coolmax shirt

A 10 percent discount on purchases made at the store

Stretching, strengthening and nutrition tips from local experts

Expert advice on your running needs

A chance to get some exercise and meet new friends.

The training runs are done by time – you’ll start with 1 minute of running followed by a minute of walking, then 2 minutes and so on, gradually building strength and form, store manager Dale Roy said.

The spring 5K training program starts in late March, perfectly timed to have you in shape by the time Rock ’N Race rolls around. The fall program will have you ready for the Wicked FIT run, which is Oct. 27 this year.

Those interested in getting into running but aren’t sure they’re ready for an eight-week program can also check out the casual running groups coordinated by Runner’s Alley.

To join any of the groups or to learn more, call the store at 715-5854 or go to runnersalley.com.

Author: Jon Bodell

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