Healthy U will again host its annual Couch to 5K training program, offering a chance for community members to get more active as spring weather returns.
The Couch to 5K program kicks off Thursday with an informational event that features information about the program and safety and nutrition tips for exercise. Training schedules will also be distributed. While some citizens may be hesitant to join the training program, Healthy Living Action Group officials encourage everyone to participate — 232 people participated in the program last year.
“Everybody in our community would definitely benefit from the Couch to 5K program,” said Megan Webb, MU Extension Nutrition and Health Education Specialist and HLAG Co-Chair. “It is for everyone — people who have never walked a 5K before, people who maybe want to be able to run most or all of it, and advanced runners who just want to improve their time at a 5K. The whole idea is to get people out and active, the weather is starting to get nicer, so getting people up and moving around.
“It’s a way to encourage people, give them some guidelines if you don’t know where to start,” she added. “This program will explain how to build your distance, endurance and speed, if you’re interested in that. Many people say they would like to do this but don’t know where to start and this program can definitely help with that.”
Webb noted that the program provides accountability for participants to complete the three workouts each week for eight weeks. Participants can sign up individually or as a team of four to eight people, which can provide added accountability.
Registered participants who complete all three workouts each week and submit their initialed workouts to HLAG will be entered in weekly drawings for prizes. Participants completing all eight weeks of the program will also be entered into a grand prize drawing. Webb said the grand prizes include a Garmin and a FitBit. Teams that have all members completing all eight weeks will be entered into a team grand prize drawing.
Participants will choose one of four training schedules based on their fitness and ability level. Children are welcome to participate in the program at their parent/guardian’s discretion.
“The beginning is a walking schedule, the intermediate schedule is for someone who jogs a little but couldn’t jog a full 5K just yet,” Webb explained. “Advanced is for current runners who would like to improve their time, and there is a 10K training schedule.”
The program leads up to the Bothwell Foundation’s Lub Dub 5/10K Run/Walk on April 30. Couch to 5K participants are encouraged, but not required, to participate in the LubDub.
The kickoff event will take place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Celebration Center on 32nd Street in Sedalia. Participants are not required to attend, but attendance is encouraged.
The Couch to 5K program is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Registration forms — available at the Bothwell Education Center, Facebook.com/HUPettisCounty, at the kickoff or by emailing [email protected] — are due by 5 p.m. Monday either by emailing [email protected] or by dropping off the form at the Bothwell Education Center.
For more information, email [email protected]
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or @NicoleRCooke.