Time to sign up for runners classes

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 12, 2011

During 2008, Randy Graham decided to do something about his weight. He had always been heavy, but at that time, he was on medication for blood pressure, cholesterol and asthma.
Randy’s diet was full of fast food and sugared soft drinks. He weighed 253 pounds at age 45.
Randy decided to get serious about losing weight, and started by doing the WeightWatchers program. Fruits, whole grains, and protein-rich food replaced the unhealthy choices that were a constant previously.
He got off to a good start, and after the first year, was down to about 215. At that point, Randy had hit a plateau. He just couldn’t seem to lose more. When the Salisbury Rowan Runners offered a Beginning Runners Class at Sacred Heart Catholic Church that September in 2009, Randy decided to join the class. He had been walking, but wanted to run.
Randy decided that he loved running, and increased his weekly mileage. He took the class again at the Civic Center, and has been running ever since. Now at age 48, Randy is a regular runner. He has remained a member of the runners club, eventually becoming a board member and club webmaster. But best of all, Randy’s weight is now at 175 pounds, his waist size decreased from 44 to 34 inches, and he feels great. The only medication he uses now is a nasal spray for allergies. All of this from a guy who had never run before 2009.
SRR will offer two separate Beginning Runners Classes, both beginning this week. On Tuesday March 15, the first class will begin in the South Rowan area at First Reformed Church in Landis. Then on Thursday March 17, the second class will begin at the Salisbury Civic Center. SRR is partnering with Salisbury Parks and Recreation on this one. Both classes begin at 6:30 p.m., and continue for eight consecutive weeks. Meetings begin with a classroom session that lasts for about 30 minutes covering such topics as running form, stretching, strengthening, nutrition, safety, shoes and equipment, injury prevention and much more. All the classes will be taught by professionals who are also members of the running club. Then we’ll go outside to run as a group. On the first night, we’ll cover a distance of one-half mile, either by walking or running. We’ll work our way up to 3.1 miles by the end of eight weeks.
Each student will be given a schedule for training. Days for running will total four each week, with rest or cross-training done on the other three. The emphasis throughout the program will be on camaraderie and just covering the distance. We’ll encourage running that is easy, during which time conversation can be held. At no time will anyone be asked to run faster than they want. All participants will get individual coaching as needed.
Cost of the class is $55 per person. The fee includes the cost of the class, a one year membership in the Salisbury Rowan Runners, a club t-shirt, and free entry into the Bare Bones 5K on May 28th. At the completion of the class, those who complete the 5K distance will receive a diploma suitable for framing during a graduation celebration.
Information requests for the First Reformed Church class can be directed to Mike Mangum at icheatingandair@carolina.rr.com and 704-640-4401. Information requests for the Civic Center class should be directed to Steve Clark at sclar@salisburync.gov and 704-638-5275.
Randy Graham is going to help with the Civic Center class. He hopes that others feel the same benefits. Randy said, “I recall the excitement I felt after completing a mile without stopping. Over the next few months, my distance increased and I ran a few 5Ks. I was definitely hooked. I always hated exercise, but running became a form of exercise that didn’t feel like it. It offers time to think or a break from life’s stress, and I always feel better after a run.”
You’ll feel better after a run too, and probably you will soon want it to be a regular part of your day. Come on out, meet Randy, experience the fun, and I’ll make sure that you feel very welcome. More information is available at http://www.salisburyrowanrunners.org and 704-310-6741.