Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The new Elizabethtown Running Club at GEARS

I've made no secret over the last three years about my hobby of running. It has been a great way for me to stay fit and keep off 35 pounds that I lost about four years ago. And it has felt good to find the motivation that I lost at the end of the 1988 high school track season. Without a coach requiring me to be at a practice for track or cross country, I simply fell into the lethargic lifestyle that many of us Americans do.

After losing weight, I started running again to add some variety to my fitness routine. Now, four half marathons and a bunch of other races later, I love to share my love of running with others. Inevitably, when the topic of running comes up with some people, they often say, "Oh, I wish I could run" or "I've thought about running, but I can't run more than a mile."

This fall, after coaching the Elizabethtown Middle School cross country team, it dawned on me: What if I could help people of all ages start running or improve their running?

Thus was the genesis of the new Elizabethtown Running Club, which will be offered through GEARS on Tusday evenings and Saturday mornings from April 4 to May 30 next year.

What is the running club going to entail? I envision several things, depending on how many people register (and I hope it's a bunch of you!).

  • I plan to help more experienced runners achieve their goals. If you've run 5Ks or other distances races, I can work with you  to improve and hopefully get faster.
  • If your goal is just to stay fit and keep weight off, I will develop a plan to help you.
  • If you have little to no experience with running, the club will include a component to teach you the basic skills to get you started. I know it can be intimidating to join a group like this, but let me explain something: I've learned during the past three years that there is no judgment among runners. You are runner, regardless of how fast you are. And when you get started, and stick with it, you will improve.
  • If you're a middle school or high school athlete that needs to get in shape for a sport like soccer or lacrosse, the club can help with conditioning.
  • I'll also cover using various online and smartphone apps to help you track your progress. You can follow me on MapMyRun or RunKeeper.
  • Finally, club members will learn various routes for running in Elizabethtown.

I am excited about starting the Elizabethtown Running Club. I hope to impart my love of running and do my part to improve fitness in the community.

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