Key to Tukwila's 5K run/walk is stretching, hydration, grit

Trina Cook  has been preparing for the Healthy Earth Healthy You 5K Run and Walk for several weeks. She says she’s ready. - Dean A. Radford, Tukwila Reporter
Trina Cook has been preparing for the Healthy Earth Healthy You 5K Run and Walk for several weeks. She says she’s ready.
— image credit: Dean A. Radford, Tukwila Reporter

Trina Cook is brand new to running, but she’s gearing up for the Healthy Earth Healthy You 5K Run and Walk in Tukwila on Saturday, April 27.

“I used to say that I couldn’t run to the mailbox without getting shin splints,” said Cook, 41, a police information analyst for the Tukwila Police Department.

As of last week, about 60 people had signed up to walk or run or both in the 5K run and walk along the Green River Trail. Registration is continuing online and participants can sign up on the day of the race, too.

Those who pre-register can pick up their race packets 4-8 p.m. Friday, April 26, at the REI store in Southcenter. REI is one of the run sponsors.

Cook is a member of a group of City of Tukwila employees who are been “training” for the run/walk and even afterward in the city’s Couch to 5K wellness program.

Stephanie Gardner, a parks and recreation analyst, has teamed up with Steve Batz, an athletics and general programs specialist for the city, to coordinate the program.

Gardner has offered some common-sense advice for experienced runners and novices such as Cook about what to eat and drinking before and after a run or walk.

“In a nutshell, every body is different; finding what works best for each body type will be key,” she says.

For a longer run, to make a body feel good, the suggestion is carbohydrates two to six hours before a run and protein one to two hours after a run.

The carbs boost energy and the protein helps repair muscles, she says.

She suggest avoiding processed foods, saying “it is very easy to get caught up” in energy drinks, supplements and foods.

“Water is great before and after a run,” she said, and avouch drinks with lots of sugar and caffeine.

An electrolyte replacement may be beneficial, she said, depending upon the person and level of fitness.

While running, the best way to keep hydrated is to drink water or a “healthy” electrolyte replacement drink, meaning no sugar has been added, she said. An example is coconut water.

After a run, the best bet to hydrate is a glass of water, she said, and eating whole foods – unprocessed, real food, she said.

Trina Cook will drink water before the run this Saturday. She’ll stretch before and after the event to prepare and cool down her muscles.

Since walking with her co-workers twice a week, Cook has noticed her endurance has improved.

She plans to continue running even after the Couch to 5K program ends this week, on the trails or at the Foster High School track.

“I don’t know if I can run the whole way, but I am going to do it,” she said of the race.


Still time to sign up

The Healthy Earth Healthy You 5k Run and Walk is Saturday, April 27, on the Duwamish-Green River Trail.

Registration is available online at (search for Healthy EARTH) or at the Tukwila Community Center,  12424 42nd Ave. S. The cost is $20. There are additional fees for those who register online.

Participants can sign up on event day, too. The run/walk begins at 8 a.m. at the Tukwila Community Center, 12424 42nd Ave. S. The starting area is located just over the 42nd Avenue Street bridge.

Free use of the Tukwila Community Center locker room and shower facilities is included in the race fee.

After the event participants will have the chance to plant a tree or shrub at the Duwamish River restoration project near BECU in Tukwila.

Sponsors of the run/walk are the City of Tukwila, BECU, REI, Forterra and NUUN.

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