Foundation Issues Call for Supporters to Join Race Training Program

Margarida Maia, PhD avatar

by Margarida Maia, PhD |

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Sjogren's Foundation | Sjogren's Syndrome News | Illustration of woman walking

The Sjögren’s Foundation is calling on runners and walkers to take part in its Team Sjögren’s Training Program for a virtual event that will take place Nov. 25–28.

The event will help increase awareness about the autoimmune condition and raise funds for research and education, the foundation announced in a press release.

Participants can join regular training calls with other team members and also get one-on-one training guidance from skilled runners and walkers during the program. The goal of the training is for each member to be able to walk or run a distance of 5 km (3.1 miles), 10 km, or a half marathon (21.1 km) in their hometown over the Thanksgiving weekend.

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The training program is designed for all — even those who have never run or walked such a distance before. Members will receive a training plan from the program’s trainer, motivation and guidance from past runners and the foundation’s staff, the opportunity to be part of a team of people looking to make a difference, and more.

“Have you ever wanted to learn how to run or walk a 5K or 10K? Are you a runner who is looking for an opportunity to train for a race? Do you like to be a part of a team who is making a difference?” the foundation stated on the event page.

Those interested in receiving more details about the training program should contact the Team Sjögren’s coordinator, Kalla Ford. Also, patients who cannot participate in the event can recruit someone else, such as a family member or friend, to walk or run in their honor.

Sjögren’s syndrome is a systemic autoimmune disorder that mainly affects the glands producing tears and saliva, resulting in dry eyes and a dry mouth. Other symptoms can include generalized joint pain and swelling, and prolonged mental and physical fatigue.

Research has shown that aerobic exercise — specifically walking — may be effective at reducing fatigue in people with Sjögren’s syndrome. One study involving women with primary Sjögren’s found that supervised walking done three times a week for 16 weeks (about four months) improved heart and lung fitness, and exercise capacity, and significantly lessened fatigue, without exacerbating disease activity.