AP NEWS

Couch to 5K program helps people get ready to participate in Run United

February 22, 2019

Run United is offering several options for those who want to participate when it is held in Aiken on April 27.

There will be a half marathon, a 5K and a 1-mile fun run for kids.

In addition, there is a training program that will help people get ready for the 5K.

It’s called Couch to 5K.

Tracey Glover of the Aiken Running Club, and other members of that organization will be serving as mentors.

“Everybody is very friendly and helpful,” said Glover, who has been the Couch to 5K coach for several years. “There is a lot of camaraderie.”

The program officially begins Monday, Feb. 25, and lasts for nine weeks.

Sessions are scheduled for Mondays at 6 p.m., Thursdays at 6 p.m. and Saturdays at 8 a.m. at the H. Odell Weeks Activities Center in Aiken.

To register, visit aikenco-op.org/RunUnited/. Anyone who is interested also can call Glover at 803-599-0156 or show up at the Weeks Center.

The cost is $50, which includes the 5K entry fee.

Glover recommends that participants be able to walk at least 2 miles and talk to their doctors before they start.

Those who can’t make it for the first training session can join the program anytime during its first two weeks.

“We want you to be able to adjust at your own pace without feeling too far behind,” Glover said. “If you try to do too much too soon, you might get injuries.”

The training sessions will be low in intensity.

“We take it nice and easy,” Glover said. “We want you to enjoy the experience. We’re not trying to break world records. This is your journey.”

To begin with, the training involves intervals of jogging slowly for 60 seconds and walking for 90 seconds.

For some participants, the goal will be able to run the whole way in the 5K. But others might choose to stick with the intervals of jogging and walking.

“There is a lot of flexibility,” Glover said. “We also teach you how to run, which includes breathing and foot placement.”

Glover is a certified personal trainer and he has a bachelor’s degree in sports and health sciences.

In addition, there is a nine-week training program at the Weeks Center for Run United’s Half Marathon. It begins Feb. 25. Teri Eckel of the Aiken Running Club is the coach.

The cost is $100 and includes the half marathon entry fee.

Training sessions will be held Mondays and Wednesdays at 6 p.m. and Saturdays at 7 a.m.

For more information, call Eckel at 201-874-3671.

The Weeks Center is at 1700 Whiskey Road.

Aiken Electric Cooperative and Touchstone Energy are the presenting sponsors of Run United. Aiken Electric Cooperative is a Touchstone Energy partner.

Proceeds from Run United will benefit the United Way of Aiken County.