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Train for a 5K With Spark Running

The Severna Park sporting goods store is offering a nine-week program to help locals train for a 5K.

has a whole new idea of a 9 to 5 workday.

The Severna Park sporting goods store is offering a nine-week program to help locals train for a 5K called "A New Kind of 9 to 5."

“It is a program for people who are non-runners, or have been out of running a long time but want to get back into it,” said Caitlin Burman, store owner. “It is a friendly non-competitive atmosphere and we build up gradually to a full 5K.”

This is the third session of A New Kind of 9 to 5, but the first time Spark Running has opened the program to men.  Burman said she had a few male customers as well as husbands of former participants ask to be included.

The session will begin on Sept. 5, but Burman said she will accept registrations through Sept. 7. The entire training will lead up to the Severn School 5K on Nov. 4.

“The entire process is a gradual build,” Burman said. “The first day is a 20-minute walk, which sounds very doable for most people. So the second class we add a couple minutes of running and it continues to build from there.”

Burman joked that at first, many participants don’t like her very much because they are adapting to the new physical workout. But by the end, she said most people really seem to enjoy the training.

“About half way through you see a mental and attitude shift and people start to like it and enjoy it,” she said. “A lot of people use it as mental clarity. There was one woman in the last program who did not look forward to doing it, but then she was like, 'I want to come because this is my time to let the day go.'”

Burman said one of the best things about the program is that since it caters to a small number of people, she can really work on what each individual person needs. She said each time she has done the class it has really evolved, and that most people who have participated in the past are still running today.

“I know one of the women who graduated form the second program is doing a 5K this weekend,” Burman said. “An alumni from the first group now coaches Girls On the Run at .”

Burman said the idea for the program, which first started in January, came to her when she would hear people say they wish they were a runner, or wish they knew how to run. She said she wished she’d had a program to help her learn to run—so she started A New Kind of 9 to 5.

Burman said through the whole process she has just enjoyed introducing locals to the sport of running.

“That’s my goal of the program—to introduce people to the sport and have them fall in love with it and continue it,” she said. “Whether they are doing it for health reason, mental reason, or because they made a new friend I love to see them continue.”

The fall session of A New Kind of 9 to 5 begins Tuesday. The program costs $50 and includes nine weeks of training on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:15 p.m., with an occasionally Saturday meeting. Registrations will be accepted until Sept. 7 at Spark Running.

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