Running your First 5K Race!

running a 5k

Looking for a fun new fitness goal this summer? Why not begin training for a 5K and wakeup your workout routine?

Whether your goal is to increase your speed, run the whole distance, or just complete your first race, the 5K has something to offer everyone.

You Can Do It!

Walking and running are both excellent cardiovascular options for those who want to lose weight postpartum or for those just looking to maintain a healthy weight. Choosing a race can help you stay focused on your workout regimen with the end goal in mind. The 5K (3.1 miles) distance is very doable and offers a great sense of accomplishment to the individual. Five short weeks is a reasonable amount of time to train, with as few as three days of running.

Small Steps Means Big Gains

Start in small steps. You can walk around your neighborhood if you are without running experience. Set small goals initially. Challenge yourself to run from one streetlamp post to the next, for example, adding more as you become increasingly conditioned. After a few weeks, try building to ten minutes of continuous running at a consistent, comfortable pace.

Spread Out the Days

Consider running every other day, with walking sandwiched in between. Allowing yourself walking or rest days will allow your muscles to recover, and increase your energy for higher intensity days. Think of your walking days as active recovery.

Sample Training Calendar

Week

Mon

Tues

Wed

Thur

Fri

Sat

Sun

1

run/walk

10 mins

walk

20 mins

run

15 mins

run/walk

25 mins

rest

run

30 mins

rest

2

run/walk

15 mins

walk

20 mins

run

15 mins

run/walk

25 mins

rest

run

30 mins

rest

3

run/walk

20 mins

walk

25 mins

run

25 mins

run/walk

30 mins

rest

run

35 mins

rest

4

run/walk

25 mins

walk

30 mins

run

30 mins

run/walk

30 mins

rest

run

35 mins

rest

5

run/walk

30 mins

walk

30 mins

run

30 mins

run/walk

25 mins

rest

rest

race 5K

 

Set Yourself Up for Success

Consider choosing a race several weeks in advance. This will allow you to pre-register and get excited for the event. If possible, walk or run part of the course before race day to help you visualize going the distance.

Think of yourself as an athlete. This does wonders for training! Remember that your strong, healthy body has already accomplished so much (having children!); a 5K is one more feather in your hat.

Choose the cute sports attire ahead of time. Try to avoid purchasing a new outfit or shoes for race day that you have not previously worn. New shoes or socks can cause blisters, while unfamiliar clothing may create chafing.

Stay ahead of hydration. Particularly coming into warmer months, it is imperative to drink plenty of fluids to avoid any consequences associated with dehydration.

Grab a Friend and Go!

Enlist a friend to join you in training and share the goal together. Having a partner makes every step more enjoyable, and there is great accountability to know someone is waiting to share the road.

Pure and Simple

The beauty of walking or running is both can be accomplished almost anywhere. Try squeezing in a quick run before work in the neighborhood, around the soccer field while kids are at practice, or by taking little ones along in baby joggers. Get your family on board! They will enjoy cheering for you as much as you will enjoy crossing the finish line!