Living Well: Want to start running? Make MRH Glow Run your goal | CraigDailyPress.com

Living Well: Want to start running? Make MRH Glow Run your goal

Memorial Regional Health staff/For Craig Press

Having a set goal can help jumpstart an exercise routine. If you've been wanting to take up running or increase your walking, make the Memorial Regional Health Glow Run, on Oct. 6, your ultimate goal, and create a workout routine to make it happen.

The MRH Glow Run is becoming a fun, local tradition. Each fall, about 150 Craig residents lace up their running shoes, hang glow rings around their arms and necks, don their new glow run T-shirt — or wear pink for women's health — and run! Won't you join us this year?

If you start now, you'll be ready to run the 5K by race day, Oct. 6. And remember, you don't have to run. You can walk the whole way or run some and walk some. The main goal is to get in the habit of moving every day.

"The sooner you start, the better. When people wait until the last few weeks, they tend to overexert themselves and push more than they need to, leading to burn out and injuries," said Marshall Kraker, certified athletic trainer with Memorial Regional Health.

Kraker said some people who sign up for a 5K try to see how far they can run right away. He advises starting slowly, with short distances a few times per week, then working up from there. Otherwise, you'll likely experience a lot of soreness and may want to quit.

Livestrong.com outlines a 6-week training schedule, which is pretty much the exact amount of time that you have from today until race day. If you are new to running or returning to running, most experts recommend that you combine jogging and walking in your training schedule. Livestrong recommends the following schedule for success:

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• Weeks 1 and 2: Combine walking and jogging in a 75/25 ratio, spending the majority of your time walking, with incremental jogging, for 30 minutes three days per week. On a fourth day, aim to jog the entire time.

• Weeks 3 and 4: Combine walking and jogging in a 50/50 ratio, for 30 minutes three days per week. On a fourth day, try to jog the entire time.

• Weeks 5 and 6: Combine walking and jogging in a 25/75 ratio, spending the majority of your time jogging. On a fourth day, jog the entire time.

"If you are not currently exercising, check with your doctor first. I recommend starting with a low impact exercise — like biking, swimming, or walking — before jogging on concrete. Remember, it's absolutely fine to walk. You can set a goal to run some, but there is no shame in walking," Kraker said.

Stretch daily before and after your workout. Before, use dynamic stretching, including leg swings, jumping jacks, calf raises, ankle circles, leg swings, butt kicks, burpees, squats, and lung walking. After, use static stretching techniques, such as touching your toes, stretching down your legs, etc. Do each for 10 to 15 minutes.

"I tell my student athletes that if they are not breaking a sweat in warm up with dynamic stretching, they are probably not ready for some good activity. Slow, long stretches afterwards are important, because our muscles tend to shorten during activity," Kraker said.

When it comes to race day, make sure you have been hydrating well the day before and the day of the race. Eat normally the night before and the day of. Eating light, or nothing at all, will leave you with little energy before the race. On the other hand, you don't want to overeat or eat something strange.

"On the day of the race, a lot of people start out fast due to jitters, but it's best to stick with your training pace and carry that over into the race," Kraker said.

The fifth annual Glow Run loops around CNCC and MRH properties. Teams, families, and costumes are encouraged. The run/walk event begins at 6:45 p.m., with packet pick up from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. and same-day registration at 5:30 p.m. Registration forms will be ready for pick up at the front desk and on the MRH website, memorialregionalhealth.com, within the next few weeks. Follow MRH on Facebook for more information.