MRH Living Well column: Get ready, get set for the MRH Glow Run | CraigDailyPress.com

MRH Living Well column: Get ready, get set for the MRH Glow Run

The Memorial Regional Health 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?

Here are some tips to help you prepare. If you start now, you'll be ready to run the 5k by race day, Sept. 30. 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 moving for a good cause, and 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.

Some people who sign up for a 5k try to see how far they can run right away, Kraker said. He advises starting slow with short distances, a few times a 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 – 2: Combine walking and jogging in a 75 percent to 25 percent ratio, spending the majority of your time walking, with incremental jogging, for 30 minutes, three days a week. On a fourth day, aim to jog the entire time.

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

Weeks 5 – 6: Combine walking and jogging in a 25 percent to 75 percent 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 work out. 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 like 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 that 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 concluded.

Mark your calendar for Saturday, Sept. 30 to attend MRH's fourth annual Glow Run. The route loops around CNCC and MRH properties. Teams, families and costumes are encouraged. The run/walk event starts at 6:45 pm with packet pick up from 4:30-5:30 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 (thememorialhospital.com), within the next few weeks. Follow us on Facebook for more information.