Ready to run: HealthQuest offering training program for 5K events

Posted Aug 27, 2012 | Posted in Fitness & Nutrition


Have you ever thought about running in a 5K?

If it’s on your to-do list this fall, then consider enrolling in an eight-week training program offered by HealthQuest, the wellness center of Johnston Health. It starts Sept. 4 and ends just in time for you to enter the Johnston Health Champions 5K walk/run on Oct. 27 on the campus of Johnston Medical Center in Smithfield.

The program registration fee is $65.

Brandy Whitley, a personal trainer who will oversee the program, says it’s never too late to start running. It’s a good idea, however, to first see a doctor to make sure you’re healthy enough to run. If you can’t afford a personal trainer to help you prepare for a 5K race, then look for a running program, she says. There are quite a few available online that can be easily modified to meet your needs. Look for those that include strength training exercises.

Her best advice: Make a commitment and just do it.

If you’re already comfortable with brisk walks, then try jogging for distances that feel comfortable, she says. Using this walk/jog method, you can finish the race within a reasonable time. You may be at the rear of the pack, but if you exert a little effort, you probably won’t finish last.

If you’re a beginning runner and doing well, be careful not to overdo it. Stick with the program; avoid the urge to do more than the schedule calls for, she says. Doing more could lead to injuries, which could put you out of the race altogether.

Whitley says runners need proper running shoes. Any old pair of sneakers won’t do. So do your homework and find out which style best fits your foot.

Here are some other tips:

  • Check your heart rate during exercise
  • Keep a daily log of how far you walk or run. It’s a good way to track your progress
  • Listen to your body. It will tell you if you’re pushing too hard
  • Set goals. It’s a good way to stay motivated

The training program is open to beginners and intermediates. Participants will get a pre-fitness evaluation and will run or walk twice a week in groups. They will also get two pre-designed workouts each week that they must complete on their own.

Prior to event day, the program trainer will take the participants to the course for a mock run/walk race. The registration fee for the race is $20 for walkers and $25 for runners. After Oct. 10, the fees are $25 for walkers and $30 for runners.

For more information, call 919-938-7599 visit our website at

Registration forms for the program are available at the front desk of HealthQuest, which is located inside the Johnston Medical Mall at 514 N. Bright Leaf Blvd. in Smithfield.

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