Leading up to the Bill Gregory Healthcare Classic on Saturday, May 13, in Dalton, Bradley Wellness Center will offer free 5K and 10K training.
Ricky Harrison, facility and operations manager, has worked at BWC for almost 30 years. He will lead the 10K training, a 12-week program on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 a.m., beginning Tuesday, Feb. 20.
The class focuses on improving endurance and speed through a variety of training techniques including hill training, interval training on the track, Fartlek runs (periods of fast running intermixed with periods of slower running) and increasing longer runs. This training is designed for someone who is already running some and would like to move up from the 5K (3.1 miles) to the 10K (6.2 miles) or improve times on longer distances.
"The 10K is much more difficult than the 5K, just based on the length," said Harrison. "It typically requires more endurance to complete. It's important to train for a race like this so that you're not totally wiped out at the end of it."
Harrison has run in nine marathons and more than 50 10K races over the last 35 years.
Tammy Wilson, desk services supervisor, will lead the 5K training on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:15 a.m., beginning on Tuesday, March 20th. The sessions will last 30 minutes. Wilson has worked at BWC for 27 years. This will be her eighth time leading the 5kK training.
The 5K training program is an eight-week beginner program. It eases the participant into running and generally by the end of the eight weeks, the runner is set to complete a 5K run or walk. The program starts with a short run, with periods of walking. It gradually increases the running to prepare participants for a 5K.
"People run for different reasons -- health, stress management or to improve race times," said Wilson. "Running connects you with a group of people that are encouraging and fun."
When training for a 5K or 10K, nutrition is important.
"Obviously, you want to make sure you hydrate," said Jaimee Cooper, BWC's dietitian. "For a race like the 5K or 10K, you need to fuel your body."
Cooper recommends eating plenty of whole grains and a good variety of fruits and vegetables, and avoid greasy burgers.
"Tune in to what your body needs" Cooper said. "You might even experiment some as you're training. If your diet is fueling you and you feel good with your training, stick with it."
To participate in the 10K or 5K program, call (706) 278-9355.