How to Train for a 5K Run
There are many ways to challenge yourself. Some people will attempt to learn a new language or take up baking while others might decide to go back to college to further their education. For some, the biggest challenge involves physical exercise; one of the most common ways to do this is by training for a 5K run. If you are a regular runner, a 5K run might not seem so daunting, but for those who get little to no exercise and who class themselves as unfit, running non-stop for even 1K is a big challenge. So, how do you go from no running at all to completing a 5K run without stopping?
Use a Training Schedule
You might have already heard of programs such as Couch-2-5K that take you from couch to running for 30 minutes. Programs such as this help you to incorporate running into your life by starting off small. They start by getting you to run for a minute without stopping with a combination of walking and running to help you build up your stamina and fitness. Training schedules are designed to be around 30 minutes in length and are completed three times per week. You are advised to have at least one day of rest in between exercise days.
Go it Alone
You do not have to use a training schedule if you prefer not to. Some people can run for longer than one minute and prefer to devise their own method of training that will help them build up to running for 5K without stopping. If you prefer to train at your own pace, then it is still important to take a break between exercising with a full day of rest. This is to prevent you from overdoing it. Your body needs time to adjust to increased movement, and rest days will allow your muscles to recover.
Whatever type of training you are doing, you should always wear appropriate clothing to ensure your full comfort. Dress according to the weather in fabrics designed to wick away moisture. If you are running on a warm day, consider a vest and shorts as well as a cap to keep the sun off your face. During the colder months, you should consider a long-sleeved top coupled with running tights or pants. A light jacket may also be advisable, but you need to remember that you are likely to get hot when running.
You will need to wear appropriate footwear too. It is a good idea to visit your local sports store to get your gait measured. You can then get a pair of shoes that will provide you with the most comfort when running. The folk at ShoeFresh recommend spraying your shoes with a shoe deodorizer spray to prevent a buildup of bacteria and odor caused by sweating feet. This will improve comfort levels when running.
How Long Will It Take?
How long it takes to go from no running at all to completing a 5k run without stopping will vary from person to person. If you choose a training schedule and stick to it, you may be able to do your 5K run in as little as four weeks. However, it is usually recommended that you take it slower than that and aim for completion in around 7-9 weeks. If you are going it alone though, you may decide to take it at a much slower pace, which is absolutely fine. At the end of the day, how long it takes is less important than completing your goal.