Gearing Up for Your Own Walk or Run

Start training now to be ready

Audrey Broomfield trained nearly six months for her half-marathon. Gearing up for a 5K shouldn’t be so demanding, depending on your level of fitness and endurance.
        You could celebrate Cinco de Mayo with tacos and Mexican beer. But one Southern Anne Arundel County fitness center is hoping you will also celebrate fitness and health this May 5.
       Chesapeake Health and Fitness Club in Deale is sponsoring its first 5K that day, taking runners on an easy, picturesque path along Rockhold Creek.
       Training is underway, as witnessed by the rising number of weekend walkers and runners on back country roads.
      Bay Weekly’s Audrey Broomfield plans to go the distance, which should be easy after her half-marathon this fall.
       “Think realistically” is her advice for new runners. “When I decided to do the half-marathon, which is 13 miles, I really had to take a look at my fitness level.”
      Broomfield approached her half-marathon nearly six months in advance, building on each day’s achievement. “I started with two minutes of walking followed by two minutes of jogging,” she says.
       Preparing for a 3.1-mile run like the Chesapeake Fitness 5K could start a month or two in advance — again, depending on your fitness level.
      “You will be happier if you set your sights on an achievable goal,” Broomfield says. “So maybe don’t push to finish first.”
       She eventually found she could do the 13 miles in 3.5 hours. “Thanks to my smart goals, she says, “on race day, I made that time right on the mark.”
       Broomfield also suggests investing in a new, bigger pair of shoes for your race.
      “Your feet will expand as you run,” she says. “On race day I needed the extra room. I lost two toenails after that race. And your feet will hurt.”
Why go through all that pain?
         “It’s rewarding,” Broomfield says. “Running a race, you physically feel that achievement.”
       Linda Strohecker, owner of Chesapeake Fitness, hopes the race will be about more than just physical fitness.
        “We really want to unite this very special community,” Strohecker says. “We plan on honoring a fallen hero and inviting a local wounded warrior to lay a wreath at the Deale circle flagpole before we head out on our route. This is a great little town and we want to bring people together.”
        The race benefits the Deale Volunteer Fire Department.
       The first 150 runners receive free T-shirts. Register now for May 5, 8am-1pm, Chesapeake Health & Fitness Club, Deale, $25 ($30 day of race): www.chesfitclub.com.