Four times a year we get watch a group of athletes finish their first 5k race. They train with us for 12 weeks in our always popular “My First 5k” training program. The program is a life changer and game changer for those who take the brave first step and sign up. Signing up is the hardest part of the program. Making a decision to take care of your health and start learning to run is very scary and intimidating. The 5k class is a safe and very encouraging place where newbies can be themselves. There is no experience required to begin this program, just a willingness for change. In 12 short weeks participants go from laying on the couch to RUNNING 3 miles. It’s amazing to see the transformation.
This past Saturday we had the privilege of watching our 5k class “graduate” at the Ho Ho Husle 5k. They did amazing and again, we are all inspired by their determination and dedication. Coach Regina Faura guided these folks for 12 weeks. She is a “Big Sister” for Phat Girlz and coaches numerous Running Wild training programs and is planning to run the Mercedes Marathon in February. Our coaches love to see others reach their goals. We spoke with Coach Regina about the training…
How did the athletes change from the first practice to the last practice? Our athletes began the program and started running 2 minutes at a time, which was a struggle but they did it. They took baby steps and stuck to the program. By the last practice they were running an entire 35 minutes without stopping. It truly was an amazing transformation.
Tell us about a couple of the athletes and some of their accomplishments during the training. We know that everyone completing the 5k is a major accomplishment but let us know about a few weekly milestones. Each week these athletes accomplished so much. It’s hard to narrow down the many milestones. Each participant was so inspiring and dedicated. Dan W. learned that a good form helps with your running and he became aware of his. He would always tell me after practice what a difference it made. Joyce R. never gave up and ran the entire 5k without stopping. Pace is not important with this class, it’s all about going the distance and making it to the finish line. Samantha R. had just been released to start running again after having surgery on her ankle and it was fun to see her get stronger each week. When the run intervals became longer most said it was easier and it felt good. They were very excited after the first time they ran an entire 25 minutes.
What was it like for the finishers at the Ho Ho Hustle 5k? The group had every emotion the day of the race. They felt completely prepared and excited. After training for 12 weeks, they had done the work and were ready to celebrate by running the 5k. I could see they were happy, overjoyed, relieved and they were no longer nervous.
How did the class feel after the 5k? The class was so proud of their accomplishment and they will be rolling over into the next class for Level 2. The My First 5k has a Level 2 program, so once participants go through the first 12 weeks, they have a new goal to shoot for. Our mission is to keep people healthy and fit, we help them realize their goals. It’s so important to always be thinking of the next goal, race or event. It keeps you motivated and accountable. We help our athletes build a “road map” for their fitness. It’s a journey and we are so honored to be a part of it.
- Training with a group provides that extra encouragement and accountability. As a coach, I make sure everyone knows where to be and what they are supposed to be doing. We follow up and keep everyone motivated and on task. The athletes also hold each other accountable. They call each other and make sure they have done their workouts and that they are coming to class.
- Knowledge from weekly emails and informative clinics held once a month. Getting regular, one on one feedback is so vital to these athletes staying safe and healthy. We want them to progress at a realistic and safe rate. It’s our job to keep them informed and educated on training and injury prevention.
- Fun! We always made it fun!
When did you start your running journey? What was your first 5k? We’d love to hear your story!