If you’ve planned to run a 5K this year and have not started training yet, it's time to get to work. Good news: fall is a great time to run! Before you get overwhelmed, here are few ways to help you conquer your 5K.
Before you begin your training, you’ll want to make sure that you start with the right shoes. Visit a running store to get professionally fitted. Also, you’ll want to invest in proper and comfortable running clothes.
You Must Walk Before You Run
Pending on your fitness level, you’ll want to start by walking to ease into your 5K training. Try walking at a brisk pace 3 to 4 times a week. Each workout should be about 35-45 minutes. Remember you’ll want to include dynamic pre-workout stretching and post stretching to help reduce the risk of injury.
Step to Intervals
After you’ve spent time walking steadily at a good pace, you should move to incorporate jogging intervals. You should start with a minute of jogging followed by 5 minutes of running and continue this rotation for the duration of your workout. Then you’ll gradually increase the jogging intervals over time. The eventual goal is to feel comfortable jogging for 18 minutes straight, which in reality, is the amount of time (assuming there is a water station) you’ll be running in your 5K.
As with any fitness challenge, a consistent, healthy diet will help set you up for success. The morning of your race, eat something light and high in protein to give you energy. An English muffin with peanut butter on it or a banana is a good option. The point being, you don’t want to feel bloated before your race. The bigger issue is hydration; don’t drown yourself, but make sure that you get enough water so that you won’t be dehydrated. If there’s a water station on the run, take advantage.
Training for your first 5K can be intimidating, we understand. If you ease into it and train properly you'll have a positive experience. The fall is a great time to run your first race. If you need help training, a Fitness Together personal trainer will help you meet your 5K training goals. Don’t have a trainer? Find one at www.fitnesstogether.com.