Great eight tips to train for a 5K race

Does training for and competing in a local 5K (3.1 miles) race sound like something you’d be interested in?
It’s a great way to get into better shape, challenge yourself and also see how you match up against others.
But if it’s been a while since you’ve done much running, how do you even get started?
Provided you get medical clearance from a doctor to start a running program, it is probably not as hard as you might expect to progress to the point where you could actually finish a 5K race (3.1 miles).
Here are my great eight tips to train in eight weeks for a 5K race:
* Get medical clearance from a doctor and discuss your plan to start running.
* Get the right running shoes for your specific foot. This is an extremely important step as the proper comfort and support for your feet ranks right up there with proper stretching in terms of preventing injury.
* Come up with a running program. I would recommend running a minimum of three times per week and varying your distances.
* An example would be on Mondays run 1 mile at a comfortable pace to start; on Wednesdays go for 2 1-2 miles as you alternate running faster for a 1-4 mile and then slowing down the pace; and on Saturdays go for 2 miles at a comfortable pace.
If you have to walk for part of it then do so – after a few weeks it should get easier. After a few weeks, bump up the distances you are running by a mile.
* Vary where you run. To keep things more interesting you could run on a local track, on the neighborhood streets, on a treadmill at home or on trails at a park. This will also help avoid wear and tear on your legs because always running on hard, paved streets can lead to shin splints.
* Warm up properly. Walk for 5-10 minutes prior to running, then stretch good. After that you can begin running.
* Keep a workout log. This is a great way to chart your progress, set goals and keep you motivated.
* Find a running buddy or group. This will make training more enjoyable.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at