Not too early to get ready for the 2017 Waynesboro YMCA Turkey Trot

The annual Waynesboro YMCA Turkey Trot, held every Thanksgiving morning, seems so far off, but then again, maybe not.

2016 waynesboro ymca turkey trotFor those looking at the Turkey Trot for goal motivation to get in shape, remember, baby steps.

“For someone that isn’t currently running, but is interested in doing a 5K, like the Turkey Trot,  I would certainly encourage them to pursue their goal, but to do so with patience,” said Trish LaGrua, a personal trainer at the Y.

Distance running “requires a slow buildup,” LaGrua cautions.

The best plan for beginners is to start out with a walking and jogging program – running short distances, then slowing down to a walk, then running again.

Over time, you will be able to replace the walking sections with more jogging and speed up from there.

One thing you need to avoid: trying to do too much too soon.

“People often get discouraged by the difficulties associated with running if never having done so before. This is often due to pushing too hard too fast which may cause their body to rebel leaving them wondering why anyone would possibly want to do this to themselves,” LaGrua said.

YMCA executive director Jeff Fife used this approach as he got himself ready for the 2016 Turkey Trot, his first as a participant.

Fife started his prep last summer, and slowly built himself up to being able to run the 3.1 miles by Thanksgiving.

“I’d never run a timed race in my life before last year’s Trot,” Fife said. “As a beginner, I was really empowered by the people around me who were a mixture of competitive runners and folks just out to celebrate the holiday with their family. I must have talked for half the race, but it took my mind off my lungs, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.”

That’s a key point, LaGrua said. Run for the enjoyment. Keep it fun.

“I think it’s important for people to know why they want to start running. Is it for health reasons, me time, or something else?” LaGrua said.

For Fife, who is getting himself ready for his second Turkey Trot in a few months, it’s a little bit of each of the three.

“I started the race last year with a whistle blast then veered into the crowd.  One of the participants told me he’d never seen the race director actually hop into the field before, and I had to chuckle. It’s the Y. that’s the way we roll,” Fife said.


Ready to run? Tips from Trish

Personal trainer Trish LaGrua offers training tips for first-time runners getting ready for the 2017 Waynesboro YMCA Turkey Trot.

– Running in groups or with a buddy or perhaps running alone with a great playlist can keep it more fun and entertaining.

– More and more research shows that it’s important to incorporate a strength training regimen into ones running routine. Strength training helps prevent injuries and helps with one’s running performance. I would encourage getting into the weight room at the Y or perhaps working with a personal trainer.

– Incorporating stretching into ones running routine is also important. Stretching is best performed when your muscle fibers are warm. Before stretching, perform a brief warmup consisting of five to 10 minutes of moderate intensity cardio. Attending one or two of our yoga classes each week may also be very helpful.

Story by Chris Graham

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