Troutman's Couch to 5K training program starts Saturday morning
PHOTO: Couch to 5K participants hit the course in their Christmas finery at last year’s Jingle Run 5K.
BY DEBBIE PAGE
After a more active summer, many settle into the cozy couch as the weather gets cooler and the days grow shorter.
Troutman Parks and Recreation has a new free fall program, Couch to 5K, to get folks back on their feet and into their running shoes.
The group will meet at 8 a.m. each Saturday morning at the Richardson Greenway access in front of the Barium Springs Family YMCA starting October 20 and ending November 24. This six-week training course will culminate with participants crossing the finish line in the free Jingle Run 5k on Dec. 2.
People of all ability levels and ages are welcome to join the group and start their fitness quest, said Parks and Recreation Coordinator Emily Watson, even if participants just walk.
“If you are intimidated by the thought of a 5K or are interested in getting started on your physical fitness journey and don’t really know where to start, this is for you,” said Watson, who said Parks and Rec representatives both lead and follow the group so no one is left alone.
“Last year we had all ranges, all fitness levels. We had folks that walked the entire program, who ran the entire program. Some use the program as an opportunity to keep themselves training and active,” she added.
She noted that council member Paul Bryant participated in the program with family members last year, with three generations of his family crossing the Jingle Run 5K. Another participant had never walked a mile before, and this program started her fitness journey.
Participants can also bring their kids and bikes to participate alongside their parents. Most sessions, which begin with stretching and warmups, generally last an hour.
“The group members are very supportive and encouraging of each other,” added Watson, who said the more experienced folks provided momentum to keep the beginners going.
Participants will have “homework” running in between meetings to build up their endurance and fitness level each week before the next Saturday session and the 5K finale. Last year’s Jingle Run had over 200 runners and walkers in their best Christmas-themed costumes on the course.
The course will be a bit different this year, eliminating the Barium Seasons leg and instead using new sections of the greenway that opened this year.
For more information, call Watson at Town Hall at 704-528-7600 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org