If you are considering running your first 5K race, the time you spend preparing to reach this goal is a great way to add variety to your program, and focus on reaching your long terms goals. If you are a beginner, here are a few tips you’ll want to know before engaging in this activity. Use these, and incorporate them into your LIVE cardio training schedule. Your heart rate zone training schedule will provide you with the necessary tools to achieve success in your 5K training.
Tips for success
• Wear comfortable shoes. Go to a running specific store or somewhere that you can receive an evaluation of your foot type and how it strikes the ground. You should be able to find out what type of shoe would best benefit you and your walking/running patterns.
• Start slow. If you have little or no experience running, it is very common to start too fast and reach a level of exertion that your body just isn’t ready to handle yet, and your run will be over before you reach your distance goal for that run. Maintain a conversation pace, where you could still talk to another runner
• Practice on the actual running surface. Running on a treadmill in an air conditioned gym will not give you the same affect as running in race conditions. This doesn’t mean run in the heat of the day, but spend some time running on pavement during the cooler parts of the day to help your body adapt to race conditions.
• Walk before you have to. When you first start your training, practice a run/walk workout routine and don’t wait until you’re exhausted before you start walking. Try timing your run/walks, for example in a 1 mile workout, spend 2 minutes running and 1 minute walking until you have finished the workout. Progress to adding time to your run while walking less.
Overtraining is common, but by taking some precaution, you can help to minimize your risk of an injury setback. A proper warm-up and cool-down is appropriate to add to your routine. Many common injuries include shin splints, which is a form of tendonitis in the lower leg, tight hamstrings and tight Iliotibial band. Here are a list of some stretches and foam roll techniques you can use before and after your run, as these are common areas that need attention while run training.
• Active Hamstring Track Stretch
• Upper Calf Stretch
• Iliotibial Band SMR (self-myofascial release)
• Gastroc/Soleus SMR (self –myofascial release)
Use these tips as a guideline for your training schedule. You can modify as needed based on your individual ability. Rest as needed, and listen to what your body is telling you. See each day that you attempt and complete your workout as a win, an accomplishment toward reaching your goal of successfully completing your 5K race. See you at the finish line!