Running and walking are effective ways to get and stay healthy. In addition to burning calories, spending time outside reduces stress and inflammation, combats fatigue, and may lower your risk for depression and hypertension.
This summer, there is another reason to lace up your running shoes and hit the pavement: helping others. Throughout the summer, various charities and organizations will host 5k road races, fun runs, and walks to benefit everything from heart health to food pantries. Just pick your weekend, pick your passion, and pick up your pace – all for a good cause.
Ready to race? Check out just some of this summer’s charitable events.
|Cantina Kids Fun Run||Saratoga Hospital Foundation||Congress Park||Sunday, June 3|
|2018 Capital Region Heart Walk & Run||American Heart Association||University at Albany||Sunday, June 3|
|5K Forward for Recovery||Champlain Valley Family Center||Plattsburgh City Beach||Saturday, June 9|
|Lap4Life Run at Chadwick Lake||Desmoid tumor awareness and organ transplant research||Chadwick Lake, Newburgh||Saturday, June 16|
|Rensselaerville Ramble Trail Run & Walk||Rensselaerville Library||E.N Huyck Preserve trail, Rensselaerville||Saturday, June 16|
|Superhero 5k||Glens Falls Hospital Foundation||Great Escape and Splashwater Kingdom||Saturday, June 16|
|Albany Walk/Run||Northeast Kidney Foundation||Central Park, Schenectady||Sunday, June 24|
|Paul Luther Memorial 5K||Fundraiser for scholarships in the name of fallen Mechanicville police officer||Mechanicville||Sunday, July 8|
|Silks & Satins 5k||Special Olympics||Saratoga Springs||Saturday, July 21|
|Sarcoma Strong Run/Walk 5k||Sarcoma research||1400 Washington Ave., Albany||Saturday, August 18|
|Altamont 5k Run/Walk||Community Food Pantry||Bozenkill Park, Altamont||Saturday, August 25|
|Malta 5k||Veterans organization and Malta first responders||Malta Technology Parks||Saturday, September 8|
Before you grab your running shorts and hit the pavement, three CDPHP employees, Cassie Diorio, Heather Rogers, and Nick Webster offer advice for running a 5k.
How do you prepare for the race?
Cassie: I have a good mentality, think positively leading up to the event, and visualize the end game. Sometimes I set goals. I think that showing up and crossing the finish line, no matter how it happens, is a goal itself. I also set a goal to enjoy myself during the event.
Heather: I set goals and train toward those goals. For the Workforce Team Challenge, I wanted to beat my previous times. I knew the course was challenging, so to prepare, my plan was to run five miles, which is a longer distance than the race.
Nick: Ideally, I prepare for a race weeks or months in advance. My training is not as regimented as it used to be but in the past I have held myself to weekly mileage goals and ensure I am completing a certain number of speed workouts, long runs, and rest days each week. The evening before an event I try to eat a dinner with bland foods that my stomach will not question the next day. Obviously you want to get into bed in time to give yourself enough rest, depending on how early you will have to get up for the event. Having all of my apparel and gear out or packed the night before helps with pre-race jitters and puts my mind at ease so I am prepared the next morning.
What kind of food do you eat before and after a race?
Cassie: I drink lots of water and don’t eat anything heavy beforehand. Afterward I think it’s perfectly acceptable to indulge! Going out to a nice brunch always feels good after an early morning event.
Heather: Throughout the day, I drink a lot of water. One hour before the race, I eat a snack with protein (usually a half of a peanut butter sandwich). There’s usually a post-race banana or granola bar to enjoy at the finish line.
Nick: I don’t like to starve myself before races, but I don’t want too much in my stomach in order to avoid cramping up. Preferred pre-race foods might be fruits (bananas, strawberries, blueberries) and/or carbohydrates (toast or English muffins).
What advice would you give someone who is thinking of signing up for a race?
Cassie: You won’t regret how good you feel afterward, especially if you are [running a race] that impacts others!
Heather: Find a friend to train with. If you don’t have good running shoes, get fitted before the race. Allow time to break the shoes in. If headphones are allowed, put together a playlist to keep you going during the race.
Nick: In general, I would recommend giving yourself at least 3 months to work up to the race distance or maintain a consistent training schedule. When the race goes off, start out at an easier pace than what you think you can maintain. It will pay off later in the race when you are tired!