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5K training program on tap in Brentwood

| Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Attention Brentwood Firecracker 5K Run participants.

Or, at least, inexperienced 5K runners and walkers.

A training program designed for people inactive or new to running, will commence Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Urban Prana Yoga, located in Brentwood and owned by Ashley Greco Dalzell.

It is an eight-week program geared to participation in the Brentwood Firecracker 5K Run on July 4 on Brownsville Road. It costs $90, which covers:

• Yoga classes; group runs.

• A daily training schedule.

• Weekly “running” newsletter.

• Motivational text messages.

• Brentwood Firecracker 5K registration fee.

The mastermind behind this training program is Suzanne Natter, an employee at Elite Runners & Walkers in Robinson.

“Relatively new to running, a little over three years ago and being older when I started, I took a ‘safe' running approach,” Natter said via email. “Part of my learning was to incorporate cross-training into my routine to improve and to stay physically safe. Through this cross-training, I discovered yoga in a whole new light through Ashley's practices.

“In a round-about way, I was hired as a ‘Couch to 5K' running coach for Elite Runners & Walkers almost a year ago, utilizing Ashley's teaching techniques. I have incorporated a ‘Yoga for Runners' class into each of my sessions at Ashley's studio.”

Last fall, Natter, a Whitehall resident, and Dalzell began discussions about setting up a training program specifically for Brentwood 5K Run participants.

“We began discussing the Brentwood 5K and how many area residents just come out to run the race without training,” Natter said, “and you see them staggering through the finish (line), walking most of the race or, worse yet, needing medical treatment afterwards because they did not prepare for the race properly.

“Many experienced runners I know consider the rolling hills of Brownsville a challenging course. It should not be taken lightly, and is not for the faint of heart or the inexperienced runner, and should not be taken lightly, especially not on a hot July morning when you've got 2,000 other runners crammed around you.”

Not only will the training program promote a team atmosphere and camaraderie, the weekly newsletters will cover topics such as proper nutrition, choosing the right gear and avoiding injury.

“We think it is great that there is a training group dedicated to encouraging new participants to the race and running community,” said Kira Kellner, who serves as co-race director with Maureen Cunningham. “Although this program is not ‘endorsed' or affiliated with the event as an official training program, we will be excited to hear how many yoga participants there are this year.”

For questions or more details about the training program, contact Natter at snatter4@gmail.com or Urban Prana Yoga at urbanprana@gmail.com.

There also will be an information session Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at Urban Prana Yoga, located at 4129 Brownville Road.

Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5820 or rfisher@tribweb.com.

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