While summer approaches, so does the sound of runners' feet beating against the pavement as they prepare for marathons. Many of these brave runners are preparing for marathon season at the Power Center, with the help of Ready to Race program that began last month.
More than 75 runners and walkers signed up for the eight-week program, which lasts through April 27. Ready to Race offers runners an incentive to get ready and in shape for upcoming marathons, including the well-known Pittsburgh Marathon on May 6, where participants can complete a marathon, half marathon, marathon relay or 5k run.
In addition to classes that prepare participants for marathon running, the Ready to Race program offers incentive to run weekly miles and log them afterward. Participants log their miles each week, including any running they do inside or outside the Power Center.
The program is open to anyone looking to get in shape, marathon runner or not.
"It's extremely simple for everyone", said Shannon Foster, assistant director of the Recreation Department, Fitness and Wellness.
"We were trying to encourage people with the Pittsburgh Marathon, giving them an incentive to log their miles and offer classes that can equip them with the tools they need as a healthy runner."
Something as simple as walking to South Side and back can count toward participants' logs for the week, making the program convenient for those who cannot get to the gym on a daily basis.
"You don't have to be a runner to do the program, and I'm doing it to stay in shape", said Katie Kerrigan, a sophomore physical therapy major. "It helps to keep you on a scheduled routine and gives you goals per weeks that give you incentives to keep going back."
The program's classes that help students prepare for marathons include A Fueling Your Body for Exercise class this Thursday from 12 to 1 p.m. The class is intended to help educate students on why nutrition is so important in building muscle, burning calories and completing your workout.
Another class, Optimal Race Day Nutrition, will be offered on April 24 in the Power Center, room 205. The class provides advice to help prepare runners and walkers for marathon-like events or just heavy-exercise days. The session is intended to help give the best tips on how to fuel your body for a marathon before and after the race.
Yoga for Runners, another class, is intended to give runners tips on how to use yoga poses and controlled breathing to complement training efforts toward any race, and no prior yoga experience is necessary.
A shoe gait class held this past Tuesday helped runners pick the best shoes for them when working out or running long distances. A professional watched each student as they ran or walked on a treadmill and assessed them based on the type of runner they are and the best shoe fit for their exercise.
Registration is required prior to all classes because limited space is available.