‘Couch to 5K’ program adds walking sessions

8 years ago

‘Couch to 5K’ program adds walking sessions

Informational meeting planned Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine The Aroostook Medical Center’s Total Health Team, the University of Maine at Presque Isle and the City of Presque Isle are collaborating to help area residents and businesspeople improve their health and wellbeing, and will offer a community-wide Couch to 5K running and walking program at the indoor track at UMPI beginning in February.

“If you are not a fan of the cold and winter sports, it’s easy to get a little lax on exercise over the winter months,” said Jamie Guerrette, community engagement specialist at TAMC. “With this offering of the Couch to 5K program, we have access to the indoor track for participants. Being active is not only good for your physical health, but it is good for reducing stress and combating the doldrums that many suffer from over the winter months.”
The Couch to 5K has traditionally been a plan to help beginners get into running. The multi-week program gradually progressed participants safely to being able to accomplish running their first 5K event. Last year, TAMC opened up its version of the program to the community and included a walking component as well.
The nine-week program, which begins Tuesday, Feb. 9, will include both an early morning and late afternoon option for the convenience of participants. Sessions will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 a.m. or at 4:45 p.m., and participants are expected to walk or run at least one more day a week on their own. The cost of the program is $40, which gives participants open access to the UMPI track for duration of the program. For those who hold a Gentile Hall membership, the program is free.
An informational session will be held Tuesday, Feb. 2, at Gentile Hall, where those interested can learn more about the program and register.
As with last year’s program, the running component will be led by Sarah Duncan, an experienced runner and a member of the TAMC Total Health Team, and the walking option will be led by Linda Menard, another member of that team and a fitness advocate.
Both Menard and Duncan are recommending the walking program as a place to start for those who have been sedentary with little to no movement over the past year. The coaches see the walking option as a way participants can slowly start to build a foundation of strength and endurance and decrease the chance of injury during the program.
For those who want to build their endurance and strength even more, the running option is recommended. Interested participants don’t have to be running prior to the program.
At the end of the program participants are encouraged to take part in UMPI’s Spring Run Off, taking place on Saturday, April 9.
For information contact Duncan at scaron@emhs.org or 768-4169, or Menard at lmenard@emhs.org or 768-4172.