Your Ultimate Guide To Preparing For Your First
5K Race
Get The Right Gear
The only essential gear to start running is a great pair of running shoes since, as running coach Karen Janos points out, old sneakers can lead to injuries. In terms of clothing, activewear made from moisture-wicking materials works best; other gear to consider is a phone loaded with music and a running app, and an armband to hold it.
From Walker To Runner
If you’re not usually a runner, with the proper training you can be ready to run a 5K in about 2-3 months. There are a lot of training programs to choose from, like the popular Couch to 5K program, and most plans focus on building you up by combining walking and running in workouts a few times a week.
Training If You’re A Runner
There are also programs to help casual runners build up their mileage and endurance, like running coach Hal Higdon’s Novice Program which involves running or walking every day for eight weeks. If you want something more challenging, REI Co-op’s training plan focuses on developing speed, endurance, and stamina.
Slow And Steady
Running coach Calum Neff says that one of the biggest mistakes new runners make is amping up their training too quickly since it puts extra stress on your body and can lead to injury. Instead, train slowly and steadily by starting at a leisurely pace to build up your muscles and endurance before adding speed or distance.
Finding Your 5K
Choosing the best 5K for you depends on the experience you’re looking for: do you want to try a themed “fun run,” or are you looking to support a certain charitable organization? Maybe you just want to race in a beautiful location; no matter your preference, take your time and you should be able to find a 5K you’re excited about.