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New Year's Resolution: Run a 5K

The DC area is full of runners and running events.

Running is an inexpensive and flexible way to keep a New Year's resolution to get more active or lose a few pounds. The DC area is lucky to have great outdoor running options and plenty of events to train toward if you need a deadline to help you meet your goal.

The Mayo Clinic offers a free online training schedule developed by Olympian Jeff Galloway to get you 5K run ready in just seven weeks, even if you are a beginner. A 5K run is 3.1 miles.

"Don't be daunted by the distance. A 5K run is a great distance for a beginner. And you can prepare for a 5K run in just two months," according to the Mayo Clinic website.

With the training schedule in-hand, you can pick a local race seven or eight weeks in the future and start working toward your goal.

Here's a list of several local 5K races that might be interesting to you:

Or if you want to train for a longer race:

And if you need a little companionship to make sure you put in the miles, local running and fitness shops often have group running options each week.

In Alexandria, Pacers in Old Town is a great resource for equipment, races and weekly runs for all levels. For moms, local group Moms Run This Town in Alexandria is also a great way for women to connect through running events. Moms Run This Town offers info on runs through a Facebook group.

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