Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Where to Start? :5k

Where is the starting line?

      Many first time runners believe the first step to running a 5k is taken when crossing the starting line. Unfortunately for many of those people, their race results in extremely sore legs or a 3.1 mile walk. Work smarter and follow these tips when beginning your journey to your first 5k.

1.     Get a Check Up
          Your very first step to a 5k is to make sure your body is ready for demands of physical activity. If you are not already involved in physical activity be sure to have blood work and a general check up done before you begin your training. Remember the goal is to make a more healthier you! 

2.     Go to your local running store and get fitted for a supportive running shoe.
          Whether you supinate, pronate, or run neutral a good running store can help you find the right fit. This is imperative to your training because of the stress that will be placed on the joints, particularly for those who are overweight. Word to the wise, do not run in minimalist shoes until you have reached race weight and are a proficient runner.

3.     Understand your fitness level and set a realistic goal.

           So you have been sitting on the couch after work for the past 5 years, eating what tastes good and consider exercise walking up the stairs in your house. While I am glad you are on your way to becoming a runner you need to understand that it took 5 years to get where you are now, so it may take time to get back to where you want to be. Be patient and set goals such as run 2 minutes walk for 1 minute or run a half mile walk a half mile. These goals will help you gradually work your way to faster times without being overwhelmed.
4.      Choose A Race

           Races many times are found through the local running shops. Races out of town can be found on runningintheusa.com as well as other race websites. Find a race that is at least 1-2 months away in order to insure proper time to train.
5.     Have a Training Program

           If you don’t aim for anything you will hit your target 100% of the time. A training program is a running program that is designed to provide structure and scientific reasoning to your training. Using the Overload Principle (the body will adapt as a greater stress is placed on it) the program will increase running volume, speed and intensity as the runner/walker progresses. Coach to 5k programs are a dime a dozen, but make sure you purchase one that has been developed by someone with more than a general knowledge of endurance sports. Endurance Coaches and exercise physiologists give you the best chance of reaching your goal.