A resident of North Grafton, Massachusetts, Paul Andrew is a public policy expert who has collaborated with a broad range of entities from around the world. Outside of work, Paul Andrew enjoys road running and specializes in 5-kilometer (5K) events.
According to nonprofit Running USA, after over 20 years of strong and mostly double digit increases, the number of race finishers among recreational runners has declined for two consecutive years. Industry experts say this was an anticipated, healthy correction of a part of the world of running.
The past year saw declines in all race distances, but the largest decline of around 30 percent came from nontraditional races or obstacle course races, which include features such as paint, fitness challenges, and mud.
From 5 million road running race finishers in 1990, the number of finishers peaked at more than 19 million in 2013 before declining. There were 17.1 million finishers in 2015 for all road race distances. This represents a 9 percent drop from 2014.
The road running industry had an estimated value of around $1.4 billion in 2015, which was a half billion dollars more than the revenue earned by the NCAA in 2015 and close to the ticket revenue of the NFL for the same year.
The 5K retained its dominance of all race distances in 2015 with 7.6 million finishers. This represented 45 percent of all road race finishers in the United States.
A resident of North Grafton, Massachusetts, Paul Andrew specializes in economic and trade policy. Outside of his career, Paul Andrew enjoys participating in 5k runs in both North Grafton and the United Kingdom.
One of the most popular distance events for beginning runners, the 5k run still requires preparation and training. To avoid injury and to get ready for the demands of running, it is important to warm up properly. For example, focus on the core muscles of your abdomen and legs to maintain the correct running posture. One key exercise, a lateral lunge, starts with your feet planted wider than your shoulders. Then, shift your body over your right foot and keep your left leg straight. Alternate sides 10 times.
Next, choose a training schedule that matches your fitness level. Beginning runners should work up to running a full 5 kilometers at a time over the course of eight weeks. In the first week, run until you become tired, and then walk for a total of 5 kilometers on Monday and Wednesday. On Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, run for 1.5 kilometers. Then, rest on Friday and walk for 30 minutes on Sunday. Gradually increase the time and distance spent running until you can run at least 2 kilometers at a time. More experienced runners may begin the program at longer distances and times per day.
Paul Andrew, North Grafton-based writer, loves running and enjoys participating in charity runs and races. Paul Andrew recently ran in the annual Worcester Firefighters 6K.
The Worcester Firefighters 6K, or WFD6K, is part of the Tour de Worcester, a trio of charity runs in the Worcester, Massachusetts, area. The WFD6K road race came about after the loss of six Worcester firefighters in a 1999 fire. Initially, the race raised funds for the completion of a memorial in honor of the fallen firefighters. In more recent years, all proceeds have been given to local charities.
The WFD6K has raised more than $500,000 for charity over the last 16 years. Most of these funds go to three very special charities. One of these is NEADS, an organization that trains service dogs for veterans and people with disabilities. Another is the Genesis Club, which provides resources and assistance to people with mental disabilities. The race also donates to the volunteer farming program Community Harvest.
The 2016 Worcester Firefighters 6K will be held Sunday, June 12. The event begins at Institute Park at 11:30 a.m.
A writer and specialist in economic and trade policy, Paul Andrew lives in North Grafton, Massachusetts. An active member of his North Grafton community, Paul Andrew contributes to local organizations like the police department and the Pine Street Inn. He also regularly runs in cross-country and 5k events.
Successfully running any significant distance can be a challenge for even the most experienced athletes. However, by performing exercises designed for runners, athletes can get the most out of their run while minimizing the risk of injury.
–Squats. Designed to work many running-specific muscles, including hamstrings, quads, and glutes, squats can be beneficial even without using weights. First, stand straight with your feet an equal distance apart, at about hip distance. In a sitting position, bend your knees approximately 90 degrees, and return to a standing position. Do about 12 squats, increasing repetition or adding weights as they become easier.
–Core exercises. A series of short exercises to strengthen your back and abdominal muscles, core exercises can be done two or three times for 30 seconds each. One exercise, the plank, begins with you lying flat on your stomach with your forearms and toes tucked under your body. Rise so that your weight is supported by your forearms and toes, keeping your back straight. You can also alternate with one forearm and the side of one foot by doing a side plank.
–Lunges. From the traditional forward lunge to the challenging reverse lunge, this exercise strengthens your legs and increases the flexibility of your hips. For the forward lunge, begin in a standing position and step forward until your knee is over, but not past, your ankle. Slowly lower yourself until your other knee touches or comes close to the floor. Repeat with the other leg.