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Have you ever thought about signing up for a 5k race but just were just too intimidated to follow through? If one of your goals is to be more active this year, commit to the goal by signing up for a 5k (3.1 miles) or half marathon (13.1 miles) and then plan ahead to properly train for the event ahead of time. There are plenty of local runs to choose from.

Beginner training programs are available on the internet, through local running associations, and even some charities. A popular training program available by app is “Couch to 5k,” which promises to get you off the couch and to your very first 5k in just nine weeks. If you need more accountability, join a local run training group. Gold Country Run and Sport just launched their 9-week beginner 5k and their 10- week half marathon groups to prepare for the upcoming Gold Country Half Marathon and 5k event on May 19.

If you’re a true beginner, group training is a good option. You’ll get advice on shoes and other gear, proper warm up, stretching and cool down, not to mention moral support from your coach and other beginner runners. “There’s a sense of accomplishment that comes with starting and finishing a goal with a group,” says run coach Leslie Shahinian. “Once you start, you’ll meet new friends and who knows… you might just get addicted to the sport,” she warns.

For more information on run training and the Gold Country 5K presented by Marshall Medical Center, visit