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Last minute training for the Bellin Run

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So the big question on everyone’s minds is, is it too late to start training for this year’s Bellin Run?

If you’re starting from scratch, it could be tough - and maybe not advisable. But if you’ve got a basic level of fitness say you’ve been walking consistently and maybe doing some running you can still prepare and have a great time participating. The key may just be to adjust your expectations. Maybe instead of setting a new personal record, you decide to run/walk this year’s event. If you were going to run/walk, maybe you start in the walker corral and think about running more next year.

So where should someone start?

The first step is to establish a training plan. The Bellin Run website’s training section has 12-week schedules based around Wednesday or Saturday long runs, and these can serve as a helpful guide. But don’t just jump into the current week’s mileage if you haven’t been training. Start slow and begin with fewer miles and easier runs and walks. Again, your goal may be just to finish - and that’s an amazing accomplishment in and of itself.

How does someone know if they’re doing too much, too soon?

The key is to listen to your body. You can expect some soreness as you begin to train, but acute pain or major fatigue are signs you should slow down or take some time off. If you do think you may be injured, check out our free walk-in injury assessment at Bellin Health Titletown Sports Medicine & Orthopedics. Six days a week, you can have a licensed athletic trainer assess your injury at no cost and recommend next steps. The Bellin Run Injury Hotline also offers free injury consultation six days a week. (Number for screen: 920-430-4595; Walk-in injury assessment info available at www.bellin.org/titletown).

Getting (and staying) motivated can be a challenge. What do you recommend?

Finding a running or walking buddy is a great way to have fun and stay accountable while you train. You’re a lot less likely to hit snooze if you know your training partner is out there ready for your 6 a.m. run or walk. Our free weekly training sessions are also a great option for individuals who are training - no matter when they start. These are open to runners and walkers of all levels and abilities, and we offer a short and long distance each week so individuals can select the appropriate number of miles for them. Training run/walks are a lot of fun and they’re a great way to build camaraderie with your fellow Bellin Run participants. These sessions take place at 6 p.m. Wednesdays at Bellin Health Titletown.

The Bellin Run had nearly 14,000 registrants last year, and a field of that size may seem daunting to a first-timer. What would you tell the person who is thinking about participating, but just isn’t sure?

The Bellin Run truly is an event for everyone some people are surprised to learn that our average finish time is an hour and 15 minutes. This is an inviting run/walk and at just over six miles, it’s the right challenge for seasoned athletes as well as first-timers. No matter where you fall in that spectrum, you’ll have a blast and enjoy celebrating this terrific accomplishment.

If someone decides this just isn’t their year to participate, but they still want to be involved, how can they do that?

We have plenty of great volunteer opportunities during race week and on race morning itself - we have a particular need for course corner and water station volunteers. Volunteering is a blast and allows you to be part of the event even if you choose not to participate. You’ll also get a custom volunteer T-shirt as our thank-you for participating.

How can people get more information about training?

We’ve got terrific information, including training plans, tips and videos, at www.bellinrun.com/training. The Bellin Run also has a number of experts who are always willing to help.

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