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NEW Fitness Features: 5K Training Plans, Virtual Races and More

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Thursday, February 10, 2011



At SparkPeople, we're continuously improving the site by adding new features to help our members reach their goals. Today, we're happy to launch several new running tools and features: a brand new Running Center, our 5K Your Way training plans, and Virtual Races!

Many of our most successful members have taken up running as a way to lose weight, get fit, and stay motivated. Running is a great way to challenge your body, burn more calories, and reach new health and fitness goals!

Not a runner yet? Don't worry: You can start out with our comprehensive Walking Guide, and still benefit from the new resources below (read on).

SparkPeople's Running Center
With dozens of brand new running articles, training tips, supportive SparkTeams, and easy access to all of our new running features, this is your one-stop-shop for starting or continuing a running program! You can always get to it easily from the Fitness Resource Center (under the Healthy Lifestyle tab) or at www.SparkPeople.com/running.

5K Your Way Training Plans
We created four different training programs to help walk or run a 5K based on where you are right now! Our "5K Your Way" plans provide weekly training emails, interactive calendars to track your workouts, printable training plans, and support from other members who are following the same plan. Choose from three 5-week training programs (walking, walk/jog intervals, running) or our beginner "Rookie Running" program (8 weeks)!

Virtual Races
Our Virtual Race feature allows you to compete against yourself—and other members—any week of the year. Simply map out your own route, complete your race, and then share your results here. This is a great way to set a new goal and stay accountable!

Join the Spark Into Spring Virtual 5K!
To kick off these new features and keep you motivated to work out this winter, we're hosting a special Virtual 5K this spring. If you join any of the 5K Your Way training plans now, you'll have time to train and complete our Spark Into Spring Virtual 5K (the week of April 10-16)! Everyone who participates will receive a printable certificate, and will be entered to win fun prizes like SparkPeople T-shirts or a $100 gift certificate to Zappos.com (use it for a new pair of running shoes!).

Sharing these features on Facebook (quick links on the pages above make that easy) is a great way to Spread the Spark to your friends and family—and get them to join in the fun with you!

We hope you will take advantage of these new tools and resources to discover the runner in you!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARLYF1 2/14/2011 1:49PM

    this is great! came just in time as I'm preparing for my 5k in May. Thanks a lot!

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MUSICALMAGS 2/14/2011 11:00AM

    This really really really really excites me! Did I mention I am really excited about this? emoticon emoticon

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APIRLRAIN888 2/14/2011 9:01AM

    May we Pls have 10k races too?

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HEARTSTOPPER 2/14/2011 12:39AM

    :)

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ITSTHENEWLAUREN 2/13/2011 11:26PM

  I'm so excited to read this!! Thank you Sparkpeople!!

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REDLACED 2/13/2011 8:57PM

    Great Idea!

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SUPER3800 2/13/2011 12:19PM

  This was a GREAT idea! Thanks!

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BABYBY2012 2/13/2011 11:15AM

    Very Cool!!!

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GENFINCH 2/13/2011 9:39AM

    Does anyone from outside the US have experience participating in something like this? I like the idea of the Spring-5K. It says in the terms and conditions that I can't be entered into the prize draw, but can I at least take part and get that certificate?

Comment edited on: 2/13/2011 9:48:51 AM

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ADDYSGETTINFIT 2/13/2011 7:55AM

    emoticon

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RUNANDRUN 2/12/2011 9:47PM

  Just what I need! Thanks for the upgrade.

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PHDMAMA06 2/12/2011 7:54PM

    Thank you for all of these great new resources! I especially love the virtual races and just did my first one a couple of days ago!!

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ALWAYSCHANGING 2/12/2011 6:43PM

    Beyond AWESOME!!!

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ROSENJ1965 2/12/2011 4:26PM

    I did my first Virtual 5K yesterday. Perfect way to get in a tempo run - and PERFECT timing for this to start now since I'm getting to the point in my training where I need to get in a quality tempo run where I sustain a hard pace for at least a few miles. And I admit that knowing I was going to post my time later gave me the motivation to keep up the pace. Great idea!

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KAMAPERRY 2/12/2011 3:24PM

    emoticon

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GARCIASA 2/12/2011 2:21PM

    Sounds great! I'm going into week 3 of the Couch to 5K training program since that was the only one I had heard of. I'll check out how it compares to what you have here now!

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LUBAML 2/12/2011 1:59PM

    Great!!!

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LUBAML 2/12/2011 11:49AM

    Thanks!

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F8CONE8 2/12/2011 11:27AM

    Sounds great!

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NANATAMMY2 2/12/2011 10:36AM

  I have always had a 'secret' goal to run in a marathon. I have always admired people who have the discipline to train. Thanks for the info. I am anxious to give it a try!

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DFROMTX 2/12/2011 10:28AM

    Lots of good information. Thanks.

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AMGM2001 2/12/2011 8:50AM

    emoticon

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JULESRULES78 2/12/2011 7:56AM

    Love it! I'm a lone runner in a rural area and would enjoy the challenge and motivation:) The virtual races sound so exciting and fun emoticon

The running center is fantastic too! It's my new favorite thing!

Comment edited on: 2/12/2011 9:33:08 AM

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TEACHING1ST 2/12/2011 7:37AM

    I'm far behind in my fitness minutes for the new year. I'm going to give the walk and walk/jog 5K training a try! Thanks for the great info.

Mary

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DWILCZKO 2/12/2011 1:47AM

  cool!

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BLOOMING52 2/12/2011 1:00AM

    Thank you!

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KIMERZDE 2/12/2011 12:41AM

    Hmmm I'm going to try this on my next running day!

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TRABOLD8567 2/12/2011 12:30AM

  Thanks!

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LISABOULDER 2/11/2011 11:11PM

  Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! One of my Spring Goals is a 5k so this is perfect!

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TINAROG1 2/11/2011 10:45PM

    yeah...I love to run. Will be checking out these new features

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TERRBEAR12 2/11/2011 10:41PM

    I think I love you. And its not even Valentines Day. This is truly exciting stuff.

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YINETTV 2/11/2011 10:26PM

  Sweat!!!!

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CUDDLYPOLARBEAR 2/11/2011 10:22PM

    great new features

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DOGSHOETAT 2/11/2011 9:00PM

    Awesome! I can't wait to look into this more

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MRDPOLING 2/11/2011 8:32PM

    This is so very awesome!!!! Thank you!

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K10BETH 2/11/2011 7:54PM

    I love the idea of virtual races. I will give it a try.

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KRISTEN_SAYS 2/11/2011 6:08PM

    Nice! I'm trying to get myself into running

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-CORAL- 2/11/2011 5:51PM

    This is really cool. Thanks!!

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URSULA125 2/11/2011 5:31PM

    Thank you!

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KOMONDOR 2/11/2011 5:06PM

    Wow! Thanks!

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WHICKS04 2/11/2011 4:42PM

  way to go. i enjoy out doors running. i cant run or walk outside because i have severe spinal stenois and it hurts so bad. the doctores tell me to swim and use stationery back. so enjoy.

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MIZZKEA 2/11/2011 4:36PM

    Can't wait to get started!

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TK421BETH 2/11/2011 4:25PM

    I signed up...can't wait!

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CBARRETT10 2/11/2011 2:15PM

  Sounds great! emoticon

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CIERAPOET 2/11/2011 2:11PM

    Thank You! That's my goal for this year. I will become the runner my hearts desire. The virtual 5k sounds interesting. I'll check it out. Thanks for all you do. Running is one of the best ways to get a lot of weight off and keep it off. My mission!
Have a GREAT Weekend!!!
emoticon

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MARTY728 2/11/2011 2:01PM

    I am doing it!

Marty

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ANANTYA 2/11/2011 1:52PM

    Too cool, looks great! Thanks SparkPeople for this wonderful site : )

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DEBLYNN323 2/11/2011 1:31PM

    Very cool....I'm signing up!

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AJB121299 2/11/2011 1:09PM

    sounds cool

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KLBUTLER 2/11/2011 1:07PM

    This is so great! I've been looking into setting a goal for my first 5K but had no idea how to train!

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