Even though The Daily News Press Run 5K, 10K and Kids’ 1K is right around the corner, it’s not too late to start training for the 5K.

A free “30 Days to a 5K Challenge” plan is available that will get almost anyone, whether their aim is walking or running, across the finish line on Sept. 13.

The 30-day plan, developed by Active.com, features three days per week of walking or running and one day of cross-training.

The first day’s assignment — to be completed Saturday  — is one mile, followed on Sunday by 20 minutes of cross training such as swimming, cycling or dancing.

For encouragement along the way, there’s a 30-Day Challenge Facebook page and a Twitter feed as well. Combined with the information and encouragement posted on the Press Run’s own Facebook page, there’s enough enthusiasm and support out there to keep almost anyone going for 30 days, especially since only 12 of those involve actual training runs or walks and the others are cross training or resting days.

Now in its third year, the Press Run has already become a local favorite for its scenic course on the Galveston Causeway, colorful shirts and a good cause. The proceeds of the race support the Newspapers In Education program, which provides classrooms throughout Galveston County with newspapers and a curriculum guide to help teachers use newspapers to teach English, math and other subjects.

In keeping with the literacy theme, the Press Run will feature a costume contest this year. Participants, both adults and children, are encouraged to come dressed as one of their favorite characters in literature.

The races begin and end at The Daily News building at 8222 Teichman Road. The certified 5K and 10K courses head from there to the causeway, with the 10K course cresting the causeway and continuing to the north side, while the 5K turns around near the top.

Registration for all Press Run events is available at galvnews.com/pressrun. The “30 Days to a 5K” training program can be downloaded at Active.com/fitness/articles/30-days-to-train-for-a-5k-challenge.

Bernice Torregrossa is a five-time marathoner and a water exercise instructor. She can be reached at bernice92@aol.com.

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