How To Train For A 5K

It’s Not The Finish Line That Matters, It’s Having The Courage To Start.
— Anonymous

When some people think of a 5k, the thoughts "tiresome", "too much running", "I wouldn't be able to do all that", come to mind. Completing a 5k can bring you a ton of courage and confidence in other challenges you may find yourself in. When I ran my first 5k, I was nervous, anxious, and somewhat scared because I've never been the running type. Ever since I crossed the finish line the day of the race, I've always tried to make time for running in my regular workout routine. 

Being able to run a 5k takes time and practice. Don't beat yourself up if you can't make it to the end of the block before gasping for air. Trust me, I was like this too. But, with proper training and motivation, you can succeed. 

In conjunction with our Color Your Sole 5k Event (taking place on Saturday, March 28, 2015), we wanted to bring you some steps on how to start training for a 5k. These training steps are not vigorous and yes, we have the beginning runners in mind. 

Training to Finish:

  • Define What You Are Doing It For- The first step is registering for the 5k. Once you are registered, it will serve as your guide to start training and getting in shape. When we have a target we're training for, it's much less likely that we will miss a training session. Being part of this particular 5k event not only motivates us to get in shape, but it also allows us to contribute to the cancer community as we help raise funds for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life Event of La Quinta, CA. 
  • Make a Plan- Many of us are super busy throughout the week, and can't even think to find time to get in a run. Look through your schedule and make time; do some rearrangements if needed. Plan a day or two where 30 minutes is solely dedicated to your 5k training. Having a running partner makes this a little easier as they can motivate you to not miss a training day. 
  • Get Geared Up- I cannot stress how motivating it is when you get new workout gear! A few things to keep in mind when getting your gear: purchase your new attire a few weeks before your race. Be sure to train with your new workout gear that way you're comfortable on the day of the race. If you buy new shoes the day before the race, you may have to deal with breaking them in and this may cause blisters on your feet during your run. Also, when buying workout clothes, be sure you get clothes that are breathable and will reduce chafing. *Please Note: For our Color Your Sole 5k Event, we are encouraging you to bring your most colorful running shoes, or other colorful attire.**
**Colorful Running Attire Encouraged for "Color Your Sole 5k Event".**

**Colorful Running Attire Encouraged for "Color Your Sole 5k Event".**

  • Take It Easy- Don't dive in to straight running for a whole 30 minutes. Start where your physically able to, and take it easy. Taking on too much from the start is the number one reason why most people quite running in the first place. Start with a 5 minute warm-up walk to prepare your body and mind. When you are ready to run, start with 30 seconds to a minute of running/jogging, followed with 1-3 minutes of power-walking (or until you catch your breath). Be sure to breathe in from your mouth and nose. This allows more oxygen to get to the working muscles. If you are gasping for air during your run, you're probably going faster than your body is able to handle; slow down. Finish your run with a cool down walk to calm your body and bring it to its regular state. It's recommended that you start with more walking than running at first, and put in no more than three runs per week. Alternate your training days with weight-training and cross-training activities. As you progress with your running, add more running than walking. 
  • Listen to Your Body- Your body is the biggest indicator of how well you are training. Listen to your body for any aches and pains. If your body is telling you to rest, take an extra day of rest before training again. Over training can lead to injury, and is often a mistake people do. Resting allows your body to recover and gain strength for your next workout. Try to get in at least 8 hours of sleep each night for better recovery. 
  • Stick to Your Running Style- Don't compare yourself to anyone else's running style. If you're trying to be as fast as the person next to you, you're only going to get discouraged. Everyone progresses at different speeds and in different ways. Train at a pace that is right for you and focus on your target. Like an author from Active.com states, "Like jeans, we all have a pair that fits our style." 
  • Fuel the Beast- The more you train, the hungrier your body gets. In order for your body to stay feeling energized and healthy, be sure to fuel your machine (body) with frequent meals that include a balance of proteins, fruit, vegetables, and fats. Fueling your body with the proper nutrition will increase your strength and recovery. 

In the end, stay motivated and keep your eye on the target. Participating in a 5k is supposed to be fun and enjoyable for everyone. Finishing, whether your first or last, is a huge accomplishment for yourself and can encourage you to stay on your health and wellness lifestyle. Stay strong and remember that slowly but surely, you will finish the race. 

**Interested in running our Color Your Sole 5k Event? Check out our "Color Your Sole" section for information and ticket purchasing. We are excited to see all of you there! Proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life Event of La Quinta, CA.**