Does the thought of running 3.1 miles scare you a little? Have you ever said to yourself, "I can't even run a mile, let alone more than three!"
Then you're the perfect person to train for a 5K!
The 5K may sound like a long distance, but it's the ideal starting race length even if you've never run before in your life. With proper training, you can successfully reach the finish line healthier, happier and more invigorated than you thought possible!
Below are some of our favorite 5K training tips for beginners.
The last thing you want to do is "wing it" and just show up on race day without training beforehand.
How long should your training last? Most experts suggest starting about eight weeks prior to race day. This gives your body enough time to warm up to the challenge and get accustomed to running.
Obviously, you'll be starting small and doing low mileage a few times per week with walk/run experiences. For instance, your training schedule might look something like:
By your race, you should be able to run the entire distance. Don't try to beat anyone else, though. Just get through the experience and celebrate!
Another good hint is to buy running shoes that are meant for your body. Do yourself a big favor and go to a local running store to get your feet checked. You might require motion control shoes or extra-cushioning runners, but you won't know if you don't get tested.
Why not just wear your regular old sneakers for your 5K training? Basically, you could be courting trouble. Foot injuries are common among novice and seasoned runners. And improper footwear is a culprit. Yes, running shoes are a little more expensive, but they're worth the investment because they should last between 300 and 500 miles if you take care of them.
Short on time? Spend at least a few minutes warming up before hitting the road, track or gym treadmill.
Warming up loosens your muscles and reduces the chance that you'll strain, pull or tear something while in training. Plus, you'll be less achy after you're finished, which is a huge bonus.
Finally, be sure to stay hydrated. Water is your friend when it comes to prepping for a 5K. The more H2O coursing through your system, the better your performance and recovery.
Now get out there. Today's the perfect time to get one step closer to your first 5K!