March 30, 2023

With Calhoun Harvest Day approaching in October at Myer Creek Park, the McLean County Cooperative Extension Office is looking to get some additional bodies up and moving during one of the day’s kickoff events.
The Couch to 5K training series, led by Harvest Day 5K coordinator and extension office volunteer Megan Woosley, wants to “take (people) from the couch to running in just a few weeks” with seven 30-minute training sessions.
The sessions will begin at 5:30 p.m. every Tuesday from Sept. 6 to Oct. 18 at the park and is open to all levels — from beginner, novice to advanced.
No registration is required to participate in the program.
Woosley was motivated to create the program because of being approached by people in the public who have been motivated by her dedication to running, finding it “inspirational” and wanting to follow in her path but don’t know how to get started or stay accountable.
One of the aims of the program, Woosley said, is to give participants knowledge of running tips and safety.
“No one taught me how to run when I was growing up,” she said. “…Nobody said anything to us about how to pace or our form or anything when we were running.”
Woosley said the program will simply be about staying active.
“…From speed walking to interval running — no matter what method somebody chooses, there’s nothing wrong with that as long as we’re moving,” she said.
The template of the program is a modified version based off of Olympian runner Jeff Galloway’s “Run-Walk-Run” plan.
Each session will begin with a small discussion led by guest speakers to go over topics relating to the sport — such as blister prevention, nutrition and avoiding injury — before participants move for 30 minutes at their own pace.
“We’re all out there for the same amount of time, but we may not go the same distance; and that’s OK,” Woosley said.
Woosley said another goal for participants is to move on their own each week.
She suggests that runners should schedule rest days and recommends participants be active on Thursdays for 30 minutes and having Saturday or Sunday dedicated to completing a set distance that will increase weekly, eventually leading up to 3.1 miles for the 5K standard.
Woosley said the program isn’t about “pushing people to get so far, so fast.”
“It’s about setting people up for success so that they can enjoy the walk or the run, so that they can do it without getting hurt and do it where … they want to do it after (the 5K),” she said. “We want them (after) October to want to go out and do this.”
She also said those that don’t want to run shouldn’t be discouraged.
“There’s nothing wrong with walking, nothing at all,” Woosley said.
Calhoun Harvest Day is 3-8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22 with the 5K at 8 a.m.
Registration is $15 with proceeds going to the McLean County Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter.
Those who attend four of the seven training days will receive a special medal recognition after completing the 5K.
Registration is open at
For more information, contact Woosley at 270-499-2806 or Kelly Bland, extension agent for family and consumer sciences/4-H Youth Development, at 270-273-3690.
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