Tips on Training for Your First 5K
by Stephanie Koathes Feb 19, 2019
So Kingston City Run is coming up, and you’ve decided to dust off your sneakers and hit the road for the 5K race. There’s just one problem, you’re not a runner. So how do you prepare to pound the pavement?
Here are a few tips on training for a 5K race.
• Choose a 5K race that is at least five weeks away from when you intend to begin training.
• Create a training schedule and stick to it. Most experts recommend a combination of running and walking for beginners.
• Run, walk, or do a combination at least three days a week. As you improve, aim to do one day where you run without walk breaks.
• Space out your training days throughout the week so that your body has a chance to recover and rest.
• Begin each session with a dynamic warm-up like five minutes of brisk walking. You might be tempted to skip this preparation and go straight into your run, don’t. A proper warm-up is important for preventing injuries.
• Don’t try to be a speed demon right out the gate. Speed will come later once your cardio conditioning has improved; you don’t want to push to speedy at the start and end up hurting yourself!
• You haven’t failed if you need to take walking breaks. Walking breaks the run into smaller, more doable chunks and can help you eventually run longer and faster. Try to keep walking breaks at one to five minutes in length.
• All that jogging is strengthening the muscles in your legs, but it’s also making them tight. Make sure to incorporate stretching into your routine to boost flexibility and help avoid injury. Focus on stretching your quads, hamstrings, IT band, upper and lower back, groin and hip flexors.
• Practice running with good form, find what works for you. Keep your strides short and light, aim to hit the ground with your mid-foot, not your toes or heels; don’t lift your legs up high as you run and have a good, upright posture.
Sources: Active, Live Strong