City to host 5K training

Published 8:10 pm Friday, August 7, 2015

By Henry Luzzatto


Suffolk On The Move’s annual Peanut Fest 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Walk may be almost two months away, but it’s never too early to start training.

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The Suffolk Department of Parks and Recreation is offering an eight-week strength training program to prepare runners for the big event. The training sessions start Tuesday and will be offered twice a week at the East Suffolk Recreation Center.

Mike Frickanisce, fitness specialist for the Department of Parks and Recreation, says strength training is becoming more important for runners of all ages and experience levels.

“It can help you run better, and, most importantly, prevent injury,” Frickanisce said.

Frickanisce said the program is tailored for beginners, but more experienced runners can still get something from it.

“The program is basically about strength training to go along with their running,” Frickanisce said. “What we do would get you ready for the next 5K.”

Karen S. Brower, the vice president of the board of directors for the Suffolk Partnership for a Healthier Community, said registration for the 5K will open Aug. 20.

Since 2009, the Suffolk Partnership has had two 5K runs a year, one in the spring, and one in the fall. This year’s fall 5K will be held Oct. 3, Brower said.

According to Brower, the Peanut Fest 5K came about in 2009 as a way for the Suffolk Partnership to help increase physical activity in the city.

“In 2009, we did a study through surveys, where residents gave us their thoughts on barriers to physical activity,” Brower said. “We wanted something that was affordable and open to all levels of physical ability and economic ability.”

She says the 5K achieved this goal. Registration for the event is free, and the running itself is meant to be low-pressure. The race is not timed, and no awards are given for placement, she said.

“Instead, all the participants draw for about 10 prizes,” Brower said. “And anyone who participates is put into the drawing.”

Last year, the 5K had more than 400 participants, Brower said.

“It raised awareness of the importance of physical activity,” Brower said. Though many of the people who participated in the run were already engaged in physical activity, surveys said others began physical activity programs after running the 5K, Brower said.

Along with the strength training program offered through Suffolk Parks and Recreation, Brower said, the Suffolk Partnership website will post a recommended training schedule once registration opens.

Frickanisce said the strength training program was made to work in conjunction with a running plan, so the two options will complement each other.

The training program will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday from Aug. 11 to Oct. 1. The cost is $40 per person. Classes will be held at the East Suffolk Recreation Center, 138 S. Sixth St.

Registration for the Peanut Fest 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Walk will open Aug. 20.