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What separates running from many other forms of exercise?

For starters, it's flexible and affordable. You don't need special equipment to do it; a pair of good running shoes and a sidewalk is really all it takes.

But talk to experienced runners and many will say one great thing about running is the socialization during an organized run.

Hundreds of people flock to 5Ks, 10Ks and marathons to meet other runners, enjoy live music and even raise money for a good cause. 

When starting out, 5Ks are the ideal race. The 3.1-mile races usually feature all level of runners from those who are highly competitive to those who walk the whole way. It's a good way for one to get his or her feet wet.

If you are looking to get involved in running races in Lake Country — or you just want to know about upcoming races in the area — look no further. We've put together a list of the best races planned this summer in Lake Country.

 

Race for Soles, Pewaukee

Where: Waukesha County Technical College, 800 Main St., Pewaukee.

When: 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 24. Race begins at 9:30 a.m. 

Races offered: Two-mile and 5K walk/run.

Price: Individuals: $40. Children: $15. Families: $95.

What it is: Sponsored by Soles for Jesus, this race will help fund the organization's mission to provide shoes to less-fortunate people in sub-Saharan Africa. The event will feature medals, prizes, refreshments, games for kids and an appearance by the Milwaukee Brewers Racing Sausages.

Register: bit.ly/2smFXSt

Village of Hartland 125th Anniversary 5K

Where: Nixon Park, 175 E. Park Ave., Hartland

When: 8:30 a.m. Saturday, July 1. 

Races offered: 5K run/walk.

Price: $25 before race day.

What it is: To celebrate the village of Hartland's 125th year, the village is organizing a 5K race as part of a series of celebrations. Other events on race day include bounce houses, games, arts and crafts, music and a pie-baking contest. 

Register: bit.ly/2sLmpEZ

 

Friday night 5K series, Oconomowoc

Where: City Beach, 304 W. Wisconsin Ave., Oconomowoc.

When: 6:15 p.m., June 23, July 7, July 21, Aug. 4, Aug. 18.

Races offered: 5K run/walk.

Price: $25-$35, depending on how soon you sign up.

What it is: This race series features a 5K run/walk every other Friday night of the summer. Each race is followed by a concert at City Beach with a different band every time.

Register: bit.ly/2t3yKDD

Kipsongo Project 5K, Delafield

Where: Lapham Peak, W329 N846 Highway C, Delafield.

When: 9 to 11 a.m., Saturday, July 15.

Races offered: 5K run/walk.

Price: $35 through June 10.

What it is: The sixth-annual Kipsongo Project 5K raises money for the Kipsongo Project, a nonprofit group based in Kenya. Money raised funds children's nutrition and education programs, a microfinance program, health programs and more for those in the Kipsongo slum in Kenya. 

Register: bit.ly/2scCshQ

Race to Cure Sarcoma, Oconomowoc

Where: Fowler Lake Park, 500 Oakwood Ave., Oconomowoc.

When: 9 a.m., Sunday, July 16.

Races offered: 5K run/walk.

Price: $35. Price increased June 15. 

What it is:  This race will raise awareness and resources for sarcoma research nationally through the Sarcoma Foundation of America and locally through the Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin and Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. The race is a relatively flat course around Fowler Lake.

Register: bit.ly/2sLG87y

The Super Run, Hartland

Where: Naga-Waukee Park, 651 Highway 83, Hartland.

When: 8 to 11 a.m., Saturday, July 29.

Races offered: 5K run/walk.

Price: $35-$45, depending on when you sign up.

What it is: The Super Run is a series of superhero-themed 5K races nationwide that benefits various charities. Each runner will receive "superhero swag," including a colored cape. Activities are being planned for race day.

Register: bit.ly/2mRE0aU

 

Prowl the Peak, Delafield

Where: Lapham Peak State Park, W329 N846 County Road C, Delafield.

When: 9 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 2.

Races offered: 5K run/walk.

Price: $20-$30 depending on age and when you sign up.

What it is: Prowl the Peak is a nighttime 5K race through Lapham Peak State Park held to raise money for the Peak Nordic Youth Cross Country Ski Program. The race is at Lapham and at night, so it may be more challenging than a flatter course. 

Register: bit.ly/2rVaT9R

5K Training Plan

Beginning runners may feel overwhelmed by the thought of training for 3.1-mile race. If you run too little, you might not get the time you want. If you run too much, you may overexert yourself while training, causing injury.

The Mayo Clinic has put together a training plan for beginners that will prepare them for the race day in just seven weeks. The plan, which was created by Olympian Jeff Galloway, involves a mix of running, walking and resting.

Here is the Mayo Clinic's training schedule:

Week 1: On run/walk days, walkers walk only. Runners run for 15 seconds/walk for 45 seconds.

  • Monday: Run/walk 30 minutes.
  • Tuesday: Walk 30 minutes.
  • Wednesday: Run/walk 30 minutes.
  • Thursday: Walk 30 minutes.
  • Friday: Rest.
  • Saturday: Run/walk three miles.
  • SundayWalk or rest.

Week 2: On run/walk days, walkers walk only. Runners run for 15 seconds/walk for 45 seconds.

  • Monday: Run/walk 30 minutes.
  • Tuesday: Walk 30 minutes.
  • Wednesday: Run/walk 30 minutes.
  • Thursday: Walk 30 minutes.
  • Friday: Rest.
  • Saturday: Run/walk 3.5 miles.
  • SundayWalk or rest.

Week 3: On run/walk days, walkers walk only. Runners run for 20 seconds/walk for 40 seconds.

  • Monday: Run/walk 30 minutes
  • Tuesday: Walk 30 minutes
  • Wednesday: Run/walk 30 minutes
  • Thursday: Walk 30 minutes
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: Run/walk 2 miles with Magic Mile*
  • Sunday: Rest or walk

Week 4: On run/walk days, walkers walk only. Runners run for 20 seconds/walk for 40 seconds.

  • Monday: Run/walk 30 minutes
  • Tuesday: Walk 30 minutes
  • Wednesday: Run/walk 30 minutes
  • Thursday: Walk 30 minutes
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: Run/walk 4 miles 
  • Sunday: Rest or walk

Week 5: On run/walk days, walkers walk only. Runners run for 25 seconds/walk for 35 seconds.

  • Monday: Run/walk 30 minutes
  • Tuesday: Walk 30 minutes
  • Wednesday: Run/walk 30 minutes
  • Thursday: Walk 30 minutes
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: Run/walk 2 miles (3.2 km) with Magic Mile*
  • Sunday: Rest or walk

Week 6: On run/walk days, walkers walk only. Runners run for 25 seconds/walk for 35 seconds.

  • Monday: Run/walk 30 minutes
  • Tuesday: Walk 30 minutes
  • Wednesday: Run/walk 30 minutes
  • Thursday: Walk 30 minutes
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: Run/walk 4.5 miles (7.2 km)
  • Sunday: Rest or walk

Week 7: On run/walk days, walkers walk only. Runners run for 30 seconds/walk for 30 seconds.

  • Monday: Run/walk 30 minutes
  • Tuesday: Walk 30 minutes
  • Wednesday: Run/walk 30 minutes
  • Thursday: Walk 30 minutes
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: 5K race day
  • Sunday: Rest or walk

* The Magic Mile is a training tool designed to help you find a realistic race pace. On the first Magic Mile, warm up as usual and then run or walk 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) slightly faster than your normal pace. Time your 1-mile run/walk with a stopwatch. Run or walk easily the rest of the distance assigned for the day. On each successive Magic Mile, warm up as usual, and then try to beat your previous 1-mile run/walk time. Your 5K race pace should be about one to two minutes slower than your fastest Magic Mile time.

 

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