Prepare for Your First 5K Race

Jun 30 07:22 2010 Allison Evans Print This Article

Looking for a challenge or to stay in shape?  Try training for a 5K. You don't have to be a "runner" to run these race, just focused and dedicated to trying your best! Give this training a plan a whirl and see how healthy and fit you are at the end of it.

The 5k (3.1 miles) is the most popular racing distance in the
United States. It’s long enough to be a challenge to many,Guest Posting
especially for those working on speed, but short enough for
anyone to participate and finish. With the advent of spring
comes the never-ending list of 5k races. Make it your goal to
complete  a 5K race this spring!

There are any number of reasons to run a 5K this season:
getting in shape, staying in shape, stress relief, participating in
a good cause, camaraderie with friends and fellow runners, and
competition. Whatever reason you choose to race, you’ll want to
be prepared for race day so that you have the best possible
experience.

If you have never purchased a pair or running shoes before,
now is the time to do it. Sneakers and older athletic cross-
trainers will not work. Running shoes are designed specifically to
meet the physical demands of runners. Using shoes that aren’t
designated running shoes could result in injury and general
discomfort.

After you have a pair of running shoes, you’re ready to develop
a training schedule. Make a schedule that works for you. If you
are a morning person, get up a little earlier and run; if you’re a
night owl, hit the streets or treadmill in the evening. If you
create a schedule that works around your lifestyle, you will be
more likely to stick with it.

Beginning runners should train for about 2 months. If you run
every now and again or are in good physical condition, it’s
possible to train in as little as 6 weeks. The most important part
of training is to begin slowly. Starting off too quickly can cause
serious injury, which can prevent you from racing all season
long. The first few training “runs” can be a walk or jog,
depending on your fitness level. Make sure you can walk briskly
for at least 30 minutes before you begin running.

Bring a watch and keep track of how long you can run before
you are physically fatigued. Increase the length of time you run
for each training session or every other session, even if only by
a minute or two. Remember to take a day off in between runs.
Training for a 5K does not have to take up all your time—you
only need to train a minimum of 3 days a week. Before race day,
you should be able to run or jog for at least 30 minutes.

On race day, remember to bring water, weather-appropriate
clothing (hat, jacket, gloves, etc.) and any registration materials
you might need. Although it’s almost impossible not to get
caught up in the pre-race excitement, try and avoid taking off at
top speed with more experienced runners. It’s easy to tire
yourself out early, so keep a pace that is comfortable for you.
Don’t worry about time, instead, focus on reaching that finish
line!

If you have any questions about your ability to run or feel any
discomfort while running, consult your physician before
beginning or continuing a training regimen.

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Allison Evans
Allison Evans

A. Evans is a writer and editor for FitandFabLiving.  Sign up for free newsletters to receive all the latest health, beauty and fitness tips delivered straight to your inbox!

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