Deciding to run your first 5k may seem daunting at first, but you can make it much more manageable for yourself by following these simple steps…
Give yourself a pat on the back! Deciding to do anything outside of your comfort zone for the first time can seem scary at first but you were brave enough to commit to it anyway! Well done you!
To put your mind at rest, it’s worth remembering that a 5k run is only 3.1 miles and most runners will finish anywhere between 25-40 minutes on average.
It’s time to train!
Many people don’t like running because they start off too fast. You’ll want to keep in mind your fitness level to begin with and start off by easing gently into your training.
Having a set timeframe in mind also helps to keep you on track. Most people find it best to train for a 5k in 8 -9 weeks. Make sure you cool down after each run for the entire program with a 5-minute walk and a good stretch!
Your training programme will have you running 3 times a week. Always begin with a brisk 5-minute walk (you should be walking fast enough that you’d find it hard to hold a full conversation) then, for the first week, alternate with 1 minute of jogging (or running if you can) with 90 seconds of walking, alternate between these for a total of 20 minutes. You’ll progress the running time each week until you are running non-stop for 30 minutes!
Start again with a brisk 5-minute walk (make sure you’re pushing yourself, it should feel like you’re just about to break into a jog) then jog (or run) for 90 seconds, alternate the running time with 2 minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Complete 3 runs over the week, but make sure you take a rest day in between each run.
For your 3 runs this week you’ll be starting again with that 5-minute brisk walk then you’ll have two 90 second runs (no jogging from here on out!) with 90 seconds of walking alternated in between. Push yourself to run for 3 minutes of running with 3 minutes of walking.
You’ve kept to your commitments for a month now! Congratulate yourself for reaching a milestone. You’re half way through your programme and will begin to start feeling much fitter so it’s time to amp up the effort.
For your 3 runs this week, you’ll start off as normal with that 5-minute brisk walk (you know the drill by now!), then you’ll run for 3 minutes with 90 seconds of walking. Next you’ll push yourself to run for 5 minutes with 90 seconds of walking and finish with another 5-minute run. As always, remember to cool down for 5 minutes and have a really good stretch. Keep up the good work!
It’s time to really go for it! Make sure you put your favourite motivational music on to help you through your runs. Aim for fast paced music to encourage you to maintain a quicker run.
Your three runs this week look like this:
5 minutes of running with 3 minutes of walking in between each run. You’ll be running for a total of 15 minutes (3 times)
8 minutes of running with 5 minutes of walking, then 8 mins of running again.
20 minutes of running with no walking. (Push yourself, you’ve come this far so don’t give up now! You can do it!)
Here’s another week of three different runs to keep you on your toes (pun intended!). Once you’ve finished your brisk 5-minute walk to warm up, here’s your running program for the week:
5 minutes of running followed by 3 minutes of walking, then 8 minutes of running with 8 minutes of walking, finished with 5 minutes of running.
10 minutes of running with 3 minutes of walking, then a final 10 minutes of running.
25 minutes of running with no walking (put your favourite album on and you should be finished just before the last song.)
You’re really smashing it now! Just look how far you’ve come! You should be really proud of yourself!
This week you’ll be completing 3 runs of 28 minutes with no walking (don’t forget that 5 minutes warm up of brisk walking first, and your cool down after).
This week will see you complete 3 runs of 28 minutes (again, make sure you warm up and cool down, you know the drill by now!)
You’ve done it!! You’re ready to run your 5k! This week you’ll be smashing out three 30-minute runs
Make sure you treat yourself to something special, you’ve worked so hard to achieve this goal and you’ve finally completed it, so make sure you celebrate! Keep up the great work and the routine once you’ve completed your 5k run.
If running this 5k is just the beginning of your fitness lifestyle, there’s so much more for you to discover! If you are keen to jump off the treadmill and try something new in the gym, read this next to help you out!
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