Training for your first 5K

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Summer is almost here and the road race season is in full swing.  Recently I was asked to be the racing team for Dave’s Performance Footwear in Perrysburg, Sylvania and Delta, OH.  I have now ran 4 races in their jersey since being asked to be part of the team in February.  It has been great because it has reignited my passion for running.  Not that I have ever stopped doing races since I started running in the 6th grade, but over the past several years triathlons have been the focus.  This year I am excited for the road races I will be doing and I am hoping to set some new personal records known as P.R.’s in the running world.

The reason I love running is because it is so personal.  Every time I go out and run I am competing against myself and the clock.  Each person in the race can be accomplishing their goals no matter where they place.  Whenever I get a chance I try to encourage others to sign up to walk, jog, run or race a 5k as a fitness goal.  I believe that setting an objective goal with a deadline is a great way to accomplish the long-term goals that people have like better health, higher fitness level or weight loss.  As you train for your road race and focus on your short-term goal of a 5k your other goals will start to fall into place.  Anyone can sign-up for one of these races because they aren’t just for runners any more.  The races have grown to include people of all shapes, sizes and fitness level.  As a walker in a 5k you will still fit right in.  There are even plenty of people who train to walk a marathon.  These people are training for a 6-8 hour event which is an amazing accomplishment!

If you have ever thought of training for a 5k, 10k, half-marathon or marathon, I say go for it!  There is no time like the present and you won’t regret the outcome and you’ll probably impress yourself with what you’re able to do and want to set a tougher challenge for next time.

Tiffany’s Steps to Running Your First 5k:

example of hal higdon's training plan
  1. Find a race about 6-12 weeks out.  This will give you time to adequately train.
  2. Sign-up for the race.  Making the financial commitment will help keep you accountable to training.
  3. Be sure you have a good pair of running shoes that right for your running form and body type. (Both of the running shops listed below will sit down with you and help find the right shoe for your body (feet), running style and goals.)
  4. Find a training plan that fits your fitness level.  Here are three websites I usually use:
  5. Complete your training.  If you miss a workout, don’t worry about making it up.  Just pick-up with whatever the plan calls for next.
  6. Mentally prepare by visualize the race and setting your goals for race day.  Do you just want to finish?  Run the whole way without walking?  Finish under a certain time?
  7. Plan the details of race day.  Where is it?  What will you wear?  When is packet pick-up?  What time do you want to arrive?  Do you need to do a warm-up before running?
  8. RACE!!! Walk, jog, or run your race and have fun doing it!!  Road races are full of energy.  It is great to see so many other people out doing the same thing and accomplishing their personal goals.
  9. Enjoy the fact that you set a goal, challenged yourself and completed it.  Just be proud of what you’ve done!
  10. Evaluate your experience.  Think about things that went well and things you may like to do differently then find another race and set another goal!  By continuing to do events like this it will help you reach your long-term goals by setting those short-term goals with deadline to keep you accountable.

If you have questions about training, please contact me.  I would happy to try to answer them.  Also, if you are in the Bowling Green area and want to run with a group, let me know and I can add you to our e-mail list.

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