How to Train for a 5K


With the holidays quickly approaching, I have been thinking lots about all of the parties and get togethers that usually come this time of the year. I love all of the yummy foods and fellowship with friends; it truly is the best time of  the year.

However, with all of these festivities, I am trying to keep an eye on my weight.  I know it is typical to gain about 5 pounds during this time of the year; however, I want to avoid that as best as I can. So, in an effort to do so, I have started running.

Running, for me, has always been a bit of a chore; yet I have always envied those who can run five miles like its nothing. This fall, I have decided to set a goal to run a 5K Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving.  If you are like me and started from nothing, I have a few tips for you:

  • Take it slow: When I first started training for this 5K last month, I was sprinting most of the run.  Honestly, I was thinking that I would build up a resistance so I could run a further distance at a fast pace.  This idea caused major burnout in the end; plus it was hard on my knees.  Now, I keep a slower pace and am able to run a further distance while not being completely exhausted at the end of my run.
  • Build up: Another thing I learned is that you need to start with a shorter distance and build up to running longer distances over time. When I first started running, I wanted to be able to jump in and run two miles; needless to say, it didn’t work. I was burnt out and tired by the end of the first mile.  When you build up and add another half a mile after each week of running, it works better.
  • Listen to your body: If you retain one thing from this, it is that you need to listen to your body.  I ran some over the summer and ended up giving up on it because my knee was hurting so bad. When it started hurting, I tried to keep going; eventually, one day it hurt to even walk around my apartment.  Thats when I knew that if I didn’t stop and do this running thing right, then I would hurt myself more in the long run (no pun intended).

Here is my breakdown for running a 5K (and eventually be able to build up to a 10K):

  • Week 1: Start on Sunday by running a half mile and build up throughout the course of the week.
  • Week 2: Start off at a mile and build up to a mile and a half. Run every other day.
  • Week 3: Start off at two miles and build up to two and a half, start running 5 out of the 7 days.
  • Week 4: Run three miles… add that extra .1 mile if you want to make it a 5K! Try doing this 5 out of the 7 days.

When I run, I have to have a few of my running essentials on me; otherwise it feels like everything is “off”.  Here are my running favorites:

  1. Running shoes: I prefer Nikes.  Running shoes are essential to getting the proper support for your knees and hips. Investing in a good pair is key.
  2. Headband: I love my Lululemon headband, especially when I’m working out (not just running). It has a little grip inside to help keep it in place on your head.
  3. Water bottle: BKR bottles are great for the gym because you can see how much water is left; just don’t drop it!
  4. Headphones and phone: I have to be listening to something when I run; otherwise I focus on my breath too much and I feel like it tires me out.  I like listening to workout playlists sometimes; but lately, I have been listening to podcasts.  They’re great because I can learn something and they’re usually longer than my run.

What are your tips for running a 5K? Let me know in the comments!



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