So you want to run the road race? Now’s the time to start training

Runners take off from the starting line at last year’s 5-mile Apple Harvest Road Race.



So, you’ve dreamed about running in the Apple Harvest Road Race for years, but you don’t know where to start? You’ve followed your neighbor’s results in the Southington Observer, and you’ve always wanted to make the list?

2019 Apple Harvest Road Race, design by Sarah Stankiewicz.

Well, if this is the year that you want to finally cross it off your bucket list, now is the time to start getting ready.

This is the first in a series of stories about how to train for the 40th Annual Apple Harvest Road Race. We will ask Southington YMCA’s certified personal trainer and running coach Alyssa Lombardi a different question every week about getting ready for the race.


The road races will take place on Sunday, Oct. 6. There are the 5K race, five-mile race and two-mile walk, along with the Y-Cup Kids Relay and the Little Fritter Fun Run. To register, visit

OBSERVER: What should a beginner runner do if they want to run a race?

Alyssa Lombardi set records as a Lady Knight in the Class of 2013. She will be sharing training tips for locals looking to run in their first Apple Harvest Road Race this fall.

LOMBARDI: For someone who wants to complete a 5k or 10K, the first step is to just get moving. No matter your ability level, from never running before to an experienced runner, the more you are out there getting your heart rate up, the more prepared you will be. For someone who has never run before, I suggest a run and walk method.  Doing a run and walk method will allow you to run at some points but then use a short walk period to recover enough so that you can repeat this and finish the race. A lot of people think they should just run as far as they can and then walk the rest of the way but the best way to train and finish a race with the fastest time is to do the run and walk method. For someone who is more advanced, I would suggest just putting the miles in and adding one to two days of speed work at the pace you would like to run the race at.

Training for a race can be difficult, but it is not impossible. Having a coach can make the journey a lot easier because they can develop a program that is based on your specific needs, whether they are related to a previous injury, time management, or your ability level.

For more information, contact the Southington YMCA’s certified personal trainer and running coach Alyssa Lombardi at