Achieving Great Things - Together!
At GoFamz, we believe that a lifestyle of health and fitness is most achievable and maintainable in the context of families and friendships, and discovering new adventures together.
And we are seeing people accomplishing some amazing things together in communities all across the country. Some of these people never dreamed they would be able to run, or bike, or hike and live such active lives. Many never imaged they could feel so good.
One person who is helping the people of Charleston, West Virginia achieve great things is GoFamz running contributor Coach Matt Young. Matt's Genesis 5K training program is bringing together people of all shapes, ages, and sizes not only to prepare for a 5K, but to achieve even greater things in running and in life. As Matt says, "it's never just about the running."
Tell us about Genesis 5K
It all started with my dad. In 2006 he asked me to help him prepare to run the 4 mile leg of a relay - and he had just 9 weeks to get ready. So I found a 5k training plan and he worked through it. At 64 years old, he went from struggling to run 60 seconds to running 4 miles in just 9 weeks! The next year he ran his first half marathon and the following year completed his first marathon.
The area where I live struggles with unhealthy lifestyles and I knew that this method of training could help. The next year I started the Genesis 5K training program at my church and have seen results - over and over.
Genesis 5k Training lasts 9-10 weeks and we always finish with 5K race. We meet on Tuesday nights for group training, and the rest of the week participants train with a friend or on their own. During the 10 weeks we cover good running form, shoe fit, stretching (or not), nutrition for runners, what to do when something hurts, yoga and strength training for runners.
Our last group session is a race day preview when we run part of the course and review the things our new runners need to know for race day. I teach a mantra “Easy Start, Strong Finish." Most new runners start their race WAY to fast and end up huffing and puffing less than a mile in to the race. Instead, we start our race just like we start each training run, nice and easy. Then at the end of the race they finish strong!
What are the advantages of running a 5K, both for beginners and seasoned runners
For beginners it’s the most attainable distance, they’re fun and low key, and a new runner can go from the couch to a 5K in a short time. And almost anyone can run or walk a 5K no matter the age, shape, or size. For seasoned runners the 5K is a great fitness test. There’s nothing like the all out effort to test your legs, your heart, and your mind. For experienced runners a flat, fast, 5K course also requires good form and a quick leg turnover. A good hard 5k can be a great predictor for performance in a half marathon and marathon and help to determine target race paces.
How is Genesis 5K different from other 5K training programs
That’s a great question. The first is accountability from both a coach and other participants. If you don’t show up for practice two weeks in a row and don’t tell me you’re not coming then you’ll hear from me. Friends and other participants also hold each other accountable. Secondly, we begin with the end in mind. We all know that at the end of 10 weeks we’re doing a race and everything we do is to meet that goal. The training is not random, it has a purpose. Finally, we use enduring Biblical principals and apply those to our training.
Tell us about your own fitness journey. When did you begin running
A few years after college, out of shape and feeling terrible, a friend introduced me to triathlon. I finished my first sprint triathlon in 1999 and built up from there for several years. After joining a Team in Training group in 2004 I discovered that I like the structure of having a coach and made significant progress when I followed a plan.
After having kids, I realized that running is a much more efficient way of staying in shape. I also discovered that I love running trails and long distances, and the people who participate in those events.
How do you fit running into your schedule
I have to run in the mornings. I have two businesses, a young family, and other interests, so if I don’t run in the mornings it doesn’t get done. My wife also runs, so we balance our schedules so we can both get our workouts in. That means we hit the sack shortly after the kids go to bed and are up and at ‘em around 5:00 am. So if you ask me if I’ve seen "such-and-such" TV show or movie, the answer will most likely be no. Life is a series of little choices and priorities. Running and health are a priority in our house. It’s not the top priority but falls right after God, family, and work... then running.
Describe your perfect run
My perfect run is an Autumn trail run in the hills of West Virginia with two or three friends. I love the trails, I love Fall colors, and I love to run in the cool weather.