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We recently spoke with local Run Coach Irina Stiasny, founder of RunRocket Physical Therapy and Wellness. With her experience as both a Physical Therapist and a certified Run Coach, she is the perfect person to go to when training for your first run.

How would you suggest someone begin training to run a 5K?

First you have to evaluate your fitness level - are you a beginner, experienced, or somewhere in between?

If you are a beginner, I usually recommend run/walk intervals. Start with walking for 2-3 minutes, then run 10-20 seconds increments and keep going for a half mile/1 mile at a time.

If you are an experienced runner and looking for a PR (personal best), you will be running more miles to build the base, then adding specific tempo/speed runs to work on the specific pace you desire to achieve.

If you are somewhere in between beginner and experienced, start with run/walk intervals but maybe do 1 min walk/1 min run to ease into training.

Can anyone train to run a 5K?

I believe as long as there is a WILL there is a WAY. Anyone can train for a 5k if they are motivated and willing to put the work in.

Are there common mistakes that people make when beginning to train?

First is poor shoe choice(usually the wrong shoe size or the type of shoe is not a great fit). I strongly recommend all of my clients to go to Running Revolution in Campbell and get fit by Chris or Ken. They are fantastic and trust me, a great pair of shoes makes a great difference!

Second, a lot of runners run too fast and too hard. Athletes ramp up too many miles too quickly, not letting themselves recover properly.

Lastly, in addition to running, we need cross training and strength training to be part of the workout regimen.

Do you have any tips to avoid injury?

1) Get a proper pair of shoes and make sure to replace them on time (300 miles per pair of shoes)

2) Do not increase weekly miles more than 10% a week

3) Make sure to do strength training to avoid repetitive injuries

4) Do proper warm-up and cool down drills

Any tips on how to stay hydrated before, during and after the run?

Before the run you want to hydrate with water and some electrolytes if the weather is warm.

During the run, you can add a nuun tablet and sip on water every 10-15 minutes.

After the run, definitely try to drink a recovery drink that has protein and carbs to replenish your system and help with recovery. The faster you recover, the faster you can return to the next run.

Are there any stretches that you recommend before and after the run?

Before the run I always encourage people to do dynamic stretches such as high knees, bum kicks, squats, jump squats, heel raises and jumping jacks. The idea behind the dynamic routine is to prime all the muscles you

need before you start running.

After running, I recommend static stretches - meaning long holds to improve flexibility of the muscles you just used during the run. A few examples are: quadriceps stretch, hamstring stretch and calves stretches are

the most popular ones.

RunRocket PT and Wellness is a mobile concierge practice focusing on providing high quality, personalized & individualized care in the comfort of your home or office. To learn more about Irina and the personal coaching services she offers, please visit

Published on June 27, 2023

Published June 14, 2023

We are so fortunate to have Shea on our team! She is not only an ovarian cancer survivor & advocate but also a champion for women and families who need access to better medical care and support. Please read on to learn more about Shea's story.

What has your journey been like with ovarian cancer?

In short, my journey has been simultaneously terrifying and heartening. Being diagnosed with such a terrible disease at age 35 when trying tostart a family was shocking. I had no symptoms, no risk factors, and really knew nothing about ovarian cancer. I have had to learn so much (most of which was quite scary, as the survival rates and treatment options are hard to stomach), and advocate on my own behalf to figure out how best to approach my care. In parallel, I was also navigating fertility preservation options to harvest eggs, and eventually explore surrogacy to allow us to have the family we were hoping for.

While the mortality and medical aspects of my journey were tough, in a lot of ways they were balanced by the incredible ways that humanity showed up for me. The countless ways that people - those that I love and also many I didn't even know- were able to support me were simply astonishing.

What would you like people who are outside of the teal community to know about ovarian cancer?

Ovarian cancer is woefully unknown. This disease is insidious, and often missed until it is too late. We can solve this issue by shining a light on it. If only people knew the symptoms and risk factors. If only those affected by it could know each other. If only healthcare workers could have it front of mind when women show up with bloating and abdominal pain. If only researchers could focus on developing a screening test or more effective treatments. Ovarian cancer needs attention!

How did you get involved with The Teal Foundation and Teal Run?

In an effort to raise awareness in the Bay Area, I had asked San Jose if they would light up City Hall in teal for September's Ovarian Cancer Awareness month last year. When they agreed, I was so excited and wanted to see if there were any other local ovarian cancer organizations who would like to join me to make the most of the opportunity. I reached out to the Teal Foundation and the rest is history!

Why do you think it’s important to be a part of The Teal Run?

What is needed for ovarian cancer in the Bay Area is: Awareness, Community, Research- and The Teal Run provides all three!

In addition to being an ovarian cancer survivor and an incredible advocate, you are so much more! What do you want our community to know about you?

I have so many privileges and advantages, and I truly believe that I am alive today because of them all. I have access to incredible healthcare. I don't think twice about challenging people in positions of power to advocate for my needs. I have friends and family who know things and people who helped me throughout my journey. Now that I am settling into my survivorship, I want to make sure I improve the path that I came on for others. I want to use my experience to improve our system to reduce inequities.

I also love burritos and orangetheory fitness. I have a dog, a toddler, a rockstar husband and a tribe that is unbeaten.

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