The local moms who run the Stroller Strides program in Wake County will, once again, offer their Raleigh Running Mamas program, which prepares moms to run a 5K.
It's designed for all levels - from moms who have never run a race before to former runners who are getting back in shape after the birth of a child or years on the sidelines.
I've written about this program before, but this time around I checked in with Missy Currin and Jen Kedrowski about what they offer.
Missy's Midtown/north Raleigh series launches Aug. 20 at Shelley Lake and other Raleigh greenways. Jen starts her Southwest Raleigh/Apex program on Aug. 24 at Lake Johnson Park and Apex Community Park. Jen also offers a 10K training program. A half marathon training program started last month. The programs end with participants running in a local race.
As a former runner, who just started getting back into the swing of things in the last year or so, I'm definitely intrigued by the program. Running is a great workout. Even after a few weeks of hitting the pavement, I see results.
Missy and Jen tell me that completing a 5K race, just 3.1 miles, is doable after training a few days a week for 20 to 40 minutes a day for a couple of months.
But, they say, motivation is key. And that's where the Raleigh Running Mamas come in.
"Having a training schedule and the accountability of a coach and fellow runners will get you out the door and running even on your lowest-energy day," they tell me. "Spend eight weeks training with group runs and on your own and you’ll find that before you know it, you are a runner! Once you make running and exercising a habit you won’t want to stop."
I asked them a few questions about their program. Here's our email conversation:
Go Ask Mom: What's the program all about?
Stroller Strides: The Stroller Strides running programs (5K, 10K, and Half Marathon) are the only race training programs in the Raleigh area designed specifically for moms, and they are about helping moms achieve their running goals. For some, this means running their first race ever. For others, it is a return to running after having kids. And still for others it is a chance to increase their duration and distance, all in the company of other moms and with the option to push a stroller while training!
GAM: What fitness level is it designed for?
Stroller Strides: We have running programs for all fitness levels. With our beginners, we start with run/walk intervals and gradually increase the running and the distance over the length of the program. For our more experienced runners, we incrementally work on duration and distance. The goal is for everyone to feel successful at the end of their training runs and to triumphantly cross the finish line to complete their goal!
GAM: What are some top fears moms have when they start a program like this?
Stroller Strides: Many are afraid of being the slowest one in the group, not having the right gear (strollers, shoes, etc), not being able to finish what they started and so on. Others are concerned that their little one won’t be a willing participant. We’re prepared to help moms work through all of these doubts and fears so that they can achieve their goals. And most moms are surprised to learn that the majority of their fellow moms ALSO think that THEY will be the slowest! When they realize they are all in the same boat, they can relax and surprise themselves by all that they are capable of accomplishing. As a fall 2011 participant described, "I never dreamed of running a race, but now I am hooked! I'm so thrilled with my progress and I plan on keeping up the running because I've discovered I'm capable of so much more than I thought possible!"
GAM: Is it OK to walk sometimes?
SS: Of course! Our interval-style training allows for a period of recovery (walking) in between periods of running. We also understand that with little ones along for the run that snack distribution, toy recon and even potty-training stops are part of the package, even for those able to keep up a jog the entire time
GAM: Are people really able to finish a 5K once they complete the program?
SS: They are! We’ve had many moms say they are amazed at how much progress they make over the two month training period, going from jogging as little as one to two minutes at a time to jogging the entire 5k on race day.
From some moms who ran their first 5k with us (read more testimonials here):
“It doesn't matter where you are physically, not running to maybe jogging for a few minutes, anyone can do this program and finish a 5K at the end!"
“I accomplished my goals. I'm proud of being able to run 3 miles and starting a healthy habit that I can maintain for the rest of my life."
The Midtown Raleigh group will participant in the Triangle Run Walk for Autism on Oct. 13. The Southwest Raleigh/Apex group will run the Monster Dash 5K at Cameron Village on Oct. 28 or the Fall Festival 10K in Raleigh on Nov. 11. It costs between $70 and $75 to participate for non-Stroller Strides members.