Are you interested in running but don’t consider yourself a runner? Or perhaps you’ve always wanted to get into running but are not sure where to start?
You’re in luck. There are a growing number of running programs and events in West Virginia geared toward introducing people to running. Here are some resources to help you get started.
Keyser area: Straight Off the Couch 5k Beginner Program
This 9 week program began on March 21 (you’ve only missed 1 week!) to help you reach your 5k goal. Open to walkers, joggers and runners. Meets 3 days per week; two different times available to fit with your schedule.
More info at their facebook page.
Charleston area: Genesis Running
This is a 9 week training program designed to introduce new runners to proper training, running form and safety. New cycles begin each season and build toward a 5k that the group does together. Spring season will likely begin in April or May; check the Facebook page for updates. This is a Christian-based program, but all are welcome.
New River area: Active Southern West Virginia
Active SWV always has something going on, from Mile Mondays where participants are encouraged to show up and walk or run one mile, to training teams preparing for long races. If you’re in the New River area (Fayette, Raleigh, Nicholas & Summers counties), join up with one of Active SWV’s community captains to get started!
Couch to 5k Training Plan
Here is the popular Couch to 5k training plan, designed to get you off the couch and race ready in 9 weeks. The top of the page has great information for new runners. Scroll down to see the training program.
Couch to 5k App for Smart Phones
Search your phone’s app store for the “Couch to 5k” app. This app lays out a 9 week plan to get you ready to run a 5k. The free version covers the workouts you need to be race ready; you can pay to access additional motivational features. This is the same plan as the Couch to 5k above, but in a handy mobile format complete with a timer to let you know when to jog and when to walk.
Local Running Supply Shops & Running Clubs
Local running supply shops are a great place to find more information about running in your area. Don’t be intimidated to visit – they are NOT for “serious runners only!” The people working in these shops love to run, and they can give you the best information about good places to run nearby. Some of these stores also host weekly run nights where anybody can meet at the store to run with a group.
Check the West Virginia Physical Activity Network directory for listings of running shops and clubs near you.