For some people, the approaching Thanksgiving holiday brings to mind thoughts of food and football — pumpkin pie, roasted turkey, too much stuffing, and a day spent dozing in front of the television.

But for runners, the Thanksgiving holiday means something entirely different. It means turkey trots — fun 5k, 10k or one-mile events that combine a dose of exercise with a heaping serving of family fun, topped off with some charitable giving that helps you remember to feel thankful.

PHOTO BREAK: 9 of the craziest races in the world

If you don't already have a turkey trot on your calendar, it's worth checking to see if there is one in your area. You can do a simple Google search or check the race calendars at Running in the USA or There are thousands of turkey trots around the country each year, most hosted by community volunteers and benefiting local charities. These races range in size from the one-mile walk of the Drumstick Dash in Evansville, Indiana, to the 26.2-mile Wattle Waddle run in Seattle.

But one thing that all turkey trots have in common is that they focus on family fun and giving back to the community. Most encourage costumes — so you can expect to see lots of runners dressed as turkeys or wearing fall-themed hats, and many give out pies, breads or even frozen turkeys as prizes.

The oldest turkey trot race is the YMCA Turkey Trot which has been held in Buffalo, New York, every year since 1896. Even a freak snowstorm in 2000 didn't keep runners from turning out in the thousands.

According to the New York Times, more than 786,000 runners and walkers took part in turkey trots in 2014. Want to join in the fun? Whether you plan to walk or to run, there's still plenty of time to train so that you can get the most out of your race.

Legendary running coach Hal Higdon has a great 5k plan for beginners that can get anyone to the finish line of a turkey trot in just a few weeks. You can also check out these tips, and these apps to help you reach your goal.

The best part about running in a turkey trot? Earning that second helping of pie after dinner.

Start now and train for a turkey trot
Plan ahead for a Thanksgiving run or walk that the whole family can enjoy.