Running into 5K shape: How to get started

Running into 5K shape: How to get started

Running into 5K Shape

Running into 5K Shape

This is the first in a series on how to get into good enough running shape to compete in a 5K race in less than three months. Today we start by looking at what you should do to get started.

If you haven’t been running much lately, or have never really done much running, this can be an intimidating way to train.
Just running a short ways can feel unstable, awkward and very tiring.
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 the steps to get started (Note: you can do these workouts on a treadmill, outside, or mix in both):
* 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.
* Warm up properly. Walk for 5-10 minutes prior to running, then stretch good. After that you can begin running (see below for week by week plan).
* Keep a workout log. This is a great way to chart your progress, set goals and keep you motivated.
* Hit the starting line. OK, if you’ve progressed through these early checklists, then it’s time to get started. Based on my own experiences and talks with trainers here’s what I’d recommended for the first three weeks:
— Week one – Do your 5-10 minute warm-up walk, stretch, then it’s “go time.” Walk briskly for five minutes, then jog at an easy pace for one minute. Repeat this three times.
Do this workout three times in the week.
— Week two – Do your 5-10 minute warm-up walk, stretch, then go! Walk briskly for four minutes, then jog at an easy pace for two minutes. Repeat this three times.
Do this workout three times in the week.
— Week three – Do your 5-10 minute warm-up walk, stretch, then go! Walk at a brisk pace for 3 minutes, then jog for 3 minutes. Repeat this sequence four times. Try for 3-4 sessions of this in the week.
Tip: Many people aren’t sure how hard to push themselves. You should be able to speak several sentences in a row at any point during your workout and if you can’t then back off. If this workout is too hard then tweak it. Conversely, push yourself a little more if it’s too easy.

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 aaron@athomefitness.com

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.