Brooke ReitzI’m completely addicted to running. I love it the way that I love wine, online shopping and catching up with an old friend.

It wasn’t always a favorite of mine, but a college friend got me started and I haven’t looked back. One of the most appealing traits is the ability to put on sneakers and just go. It’s solitude — just me and the road (or the treadmill, as the case may be). I don’t know about you, but for me, finding “me time” can often be difficult. I know I’m not the only parent that hears the word “mommy!” incessantly, even though I’m standing right next to them.

Have I convinced you to give it a try? Here’s a free program to help you on your way. I promise — you won’t regret it.

A Free 10-Week Running Program

The Running 101 program is simple — the training approach breaks it into bite-size pieces. The goal is to help beginner runners complete their first 5K. The cool part is that you can train online with your family and friends, and receive an online training guide, downloadable music files to coach you through workouts, motivational videos, and weekly emails.

Just pick a race date and your first training email will arrive 10 weeks prior. The program runs through the end of September each year, so you can begin your training according to your schedule.

You’ll still have to register for the 5K you want to complete, but it’s usually easy to find one in your area. Run a search for “5K” or go to to find a race near you.

If you think you can’t do it, I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong. I’ve been involved with this program for the last five years and have seen countless folks — some who were 100 percent sedentary — complete their first 5K, and then some. I’ve witnessed the tears of joy, the pride and the sense of personal accomplishment that makes me proud to work on this program year after year.

Do yourself a solid — lace up your sneakers and start training now.