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Oktoberfest is one of La Crosse's biggest festivities, and for good reason! But there are more ways to celebrate La Crosse than to indulge in Oktoberfest shenanigans. Some great ways to experience what La Crosse has to offer during this beautiful time of year include watching the leaves turn as you hike up Grandad's bluff, walking through Hixon Forest trails or biking along the Great River State Trail.

Some upcoming races in the community are a great way to start fall on the right foot! The Maple Leaf Walk Run is quickly approaching and follows the Oktoberfest Parade Route in varying distances including: half marathon, 5 mile, 5k walk/run, or kid's fun run. If you need more time to prepare or train for a 5k, check out the UW-La Crosse Turkey Trot! When planning to run a race, especially if you haven't laced up your running shoes for a while, it's important to have a training plan! Choosing a comfortable pace for yourself is important to keep in mind when preparing for a race of any kind. If you are preparing to run your first race, a pace might not be as important as setting other personal goals like "I'm going to finish this race with no breaks," or "I only want to take a 2 minutes walking break."

A great training plan might look something like this:

Template Example from Runners World

Consider including resistance exercises or weightlifting into this routine on some of the "rest" days to get a bit of variety in your training. Make sure to incorporate good warm-ups and cool-downs after each run with ample stretching to reduce your chance of injury! A good warm-up should include a few minutes of light aerobic exercise to help get your muscles engaged and ready to run. Follow that short bout of aerobic exercise with some dynamic stretches like walking lunges or jumping jacks, and you'll be ready to race. Following a run, cool down by taking a few minutes to "walk it out" and allow your breath to return back to normal. Drink plenty of water and stretch out your legs to ensure you get your best recovery.

Last, but not least, have fun!

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