Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thanks to “The Starting Line,” New Runners Are Ready to Cross the Finish Line

Have you ever wanted to run a 5k race but were not sure how to get started?

Scot Fuhrman of Martin Memorial Health and Fitness is an avid runner and wanted to help new runners get started. So the Starting Line running group made its debut 10 weeks ago and the first group of new runners are about to cross the finish line on May 31 at the Run for the Pineapple 5k race.

The program Scot designed allowed for all types of runners and walkers to participate. The runners were put into groups based on their fitness level. The groups consist of: run only; run two minutes, walk one minute; run one minute, walk one minute (which I got to coach!); and walk only.

Everyone participating in the program is given a training program to follow during the week and the group meets every Saturday morning at 6:45 a.m. We all warm up together with a walk and then break into our groups. At the conclusion of the run we all meet again to stretch.

One key training element of this program is the increase in distance was kept to quarter-mile increments each week. This form of training helps build endurance and confidence.

I have had the pleasure of meeting and watching new runners gain confidence and amazing endurance over these past 10 weeks. In particular, two women in my group have really surprised me. In the beginning, one had difficulty completing a half-mile run/walk. I wasn’t sure if she was going to make it. She also developed knee pain which I thought would stop her. Instead, she sought the help of a professional, got her knee pain under control and is still with us. She is one of the STARS of the program. Her goal is to finish the race and she is just two weeks away from completing her goal, and has also lost 15 pounds!

When one of my other new runners began, she confesses that she could barely run 500 yards. But she has stuck with the program and is now running over three miles! And another runner started with the 1/1 group but soon moved up to the 2/1 group. She is committed to the program and is looking forward to crossing the finish line.

Crossing the finish line of my first 5K race is one of the greatest feelings I have ever experienced. I am looking forward to seeing the faces of The Starting Line runners finally cross their first finish line.

--Jane Reynolds
Health and Fitness Technician
Hospital South Health and Fitness

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