Course to prepare students for marathons



    On your marks. Get set. Go!

    Students preparing to run their first marathon have a new resource to assist in their training, but they need to race to enroll before the class is full.

    Dianne Nielsen, a graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and an intern at the Counseling and Career Center, has developed a marathon class that will be offered at BYU for the first time this spring and summer.

    A similar course at the University of Northern Iowa is so popular that a lottery is held for enrollment, Nielsen said.

    The class is not listed in the spring/summer course catalog, but it is now open for registration.

    Student Development 214R, Section 110, registration #7504 will meet in 1245 SFLC from 1 p.m. to 2:50 p.m. on Tuesdays.

    Before potential students begin training, a medical check-up is recommended for those with possible heart problems and those over 45.

    Nielsen said students do not have to be a great athlete before they enroll.

    “The training program, which is designed for non-athletes and athletes alike, assumes a student can run for 30 minutes continually,” Nielsen said.

    Nielsen said students might enroll in spring term only and train for a half-marathon, which is 13.1 miles. They may also enroll for both terms to prepare for running a full marathon, which is 26.2 miles.

    There are several half-marathons scheduled for the summer in Park City and Hobble Creek. In the fall, students may run in the Logan or St. George marathons, Nielsen said.

    Nielsen herself has run six marathons.

    “Running a marathon is a glorious goal that a lot of people have thought about but haven’t followed through on,” she said. “It’s an intense personal experience in establishing a long range goal and really sticking to it.”

    Some of the topics the class will cover include goal setting, commitment, time management, nutrition, stress management and mental techniques for endurance, Nielsen said.

    Amber Martin, 21, a junior from Corvallis, Ore., majoring in business marketing, completed her first marathon last October in St. George.

    Martin has run cross-country and track since she was 12. She said she always thought she would run a marathon by the time she was 30.

    “I think a marathon is the ultimate running accomplishment,” Martin said.

    “When a friend asked me what I was waiting for, I decided to do it right now.”

    It would be 10 times more fun to train with others, Martin said.

    Martin said she thinks the class would help students in their training.

    “You need to do light running during the last few weeks. It’s scary because you think you’re going to get out of shape, but you need to slow down because it’s so hard on your body,” Martin said.

    Craig Bleak, 22, a sophomore from North Attleboro, Mass., majoring in medicine, said he would encourage students to take advantage of the class because of the benefits of running.

    “Running gives me the chance to be out in nature,” Bleak said. “All things testify of God and that helps me to remember the creation.”

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