Why I’m Running Broad Street

See why health and fitness editor (and running-phobe) Jenna Bergen decided to join the ranks of Philly’s most iconic race


As much as I enjoy pushing myself in Spin class, hiking to the top of a mountain, or feeling the sweat break across my forehead as I a hold a yoga pose, I’ve never been much of a runner. Running was always something I had to do for high school soccer practices — I can still remember slogging my way through suicide after suicide until my sides ached and my lungs burned enough to make running seem like nothing more than punishment, a tedious requirement that I simply had to get through.

But Broad Street, the iconic, 10-mile race that 30,000 Philadelphians run each year, has slowly seduced me. Since starting at Philly Mag a few years ago, it seems as if more and more of my friends and colleagues have been joining the densely packed crowds at the starting line every May 2nd, and each time the race has passed me by I’ve felt a twinge of regret and … I’ll be honest … a little bit of jealousy. So when, halfway through February, an email popped up in my inbox telling me about Team Philly, the new beginners’ training group put together by the Philadelphia Runner, Fusion, and Excel Physical Therapy and Fitness that swears they’ll whip you into Broad-Street-ready shape come May, the competitive side that loves to push myself knew that this year, no matter how much I cringed at the thought of all the miles of training that loomed in my very near future, I had to do it. The image of me crossing the finish line sweaty, tired, and happy outweighed my trepidation.

So for the next nine weeks, I’ll be blogging about my experience, getting up early to log my weekly miles, and spending my Saturday mornings on Kelly Drive with the rest of Team Philly to hone my body, build my speed, and extend my endurance. I’ll also be chatting with some of Philly’s top running experts to answer all of my — and your! — beginner Broad Street Qs. (Got a Q about training for Broad Street? Email me and we may answer it in an upcoming Healthy Life!)

First up: Team Philly’s running coach Ross Martinson, co-owner of Philadelphia Runner, answers my most pressing, pre-training questions. Find out the best way to train, what to do if you miss a run, and why Broad Street is the best race for newbie runners.

Want to train with me? There are still spots left on Team Philly, and they’re offering them for a reduced fee for HLers ($50). Just say you hear about Team Philly in Healthy Life. Hurry up though, the deadline is March 12th. You’ll get everything from a free week of unlimited group cross-training at Fusion, group runs led by race coaches (including Ross), a free PT evaluation from Excel Physical Therapy and Fitness, tons of hands-on training and motivation, and you’ll also meet some new, fitness-minded friends. Or you can follow along with one of the many training schedules online.