The Rise to 5K program began in 2018 in Franklin County as a partnership between RiseVT and the Orthopedics and Rehabilitation program at Northwestern Medical Center. The goal of Rise to 5K is to encourage community members to increase their activity level by offering a 12 week training program modeled after couch to 5K initiatives. RiseVT program managers and community coaches offered twice weekly evening training sessions as well as nutrition support and informative talks about topics ranging from shoe fit to running stride. These sessions were recorded and available online for those who were unable to make the in-person training times. The first Rise to 5k training program drew 60 people from St. Albans and Enosburgh.
The success of the first Rise to 5K led to additional coaching events in Franklin and Grand Isle Counties as well as other areas of the state. Rise to 5K has been used to support worksite wellness programs and across Vermont communities to promote physical activity through group training and shared goal setting. Individuals have found community in their Rise to 5K training groups and many participants have go on to run additional races since their first training experience.
The group is such a good time to make friends and take care of myself
During the Covid-19 pandemic, when group training sessions were not possible and gyms were closed, the RiseVT team pivoted to focus on supporting Vermonters getting active from their homes. Our Bennington program manager, Andrea Malinowski, led a 10 week virtual Rise to 5K training program via Facebook Live. Sessions were held twice a week and culminated in a virtual 5K event in June of 2020. Over 100 participants from across the state participated in the virtual run walk.
The Rise to 5K program, like Rise and Walk Middlebury and What’s Your Play, help to weave physical activity into the daily lives of families and communities, with the long term goal of reducing chronic disease. Rise to 5K most closely aligns with CDC Strategy to encourage physical activity or limit sedentary activity.