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Run Your First 5K


By kimfitness on Jan 06, 2013 10:00 AM in Tips & Updates

Participating in an organized 5K race can be a great motivator for a beginning runner. The requirement to follow a training regimen for a set amount of time, and the reward of a race day can give you the push you need to get serious about running. It may seem intimidating at first, but a 5K is the perfect race for new runners. With the appropriate training and preparation guidelines, even the most sedentary person could be ready for the 5 kilometer (3.1 mile) race in just a few weeks.

Below is an eight-week 5K training schedule to help you reach your goal of completing the race. With this training plan you will need 2 rest days per week, a strength training day, Cross Training days, and an interval run day. You will complete your longest run on Saturdays and your strength training day on Sunday. *Mondays and Fridays are your rest and recovery days.

 

5K Training Schedule for Beginners


Week

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Saturday

Sunday

1

Interval Run:

Run 1 Min/Walk 2 Min for 0.5 Mile

Cross Training For Beginners

1 mile run/walk

1 mile run/walk

30 minute strength training workout

2

Interval Run:

Run 1 Min/Walk 2 Min for 1 Mile

Cross Training For Beginners or Rest

1.5 mile run

1.5 mile  run

30 minute strength training workout

3

Interval Run:

Run 1 Min/Walk 2 Min for 1.5 Miles

CT or Rest

1.5 mile run

2 mile Run/walk

30 minute strength training workout

4

Interval Run:

Run 1 Min/Walk 2 Min for 2 Miles

CT or Rest

1.5 mile run

2.25 mile run

30 minute strength training workout

5

Interval Run:

Run 1 Min/Jog 2 Min for 2.25 Miles

CT or Rest

2 mile run

2.50 mile run/walk

30 minute strength training workout

6

Interval Run:

Run 1 Min/ Jog 2 Min for 2.50 Miles

Cross Training For Beginners

2 mile run

2.75 mile run

30 minute strength training workout

7

Interval Run:

Run 1 Min/ Jog 2 Min for 2.75 Miles

Cross Training For Beginners

2 mile run

3 mile run

30 minute strength training workout

8

Interval Run:

Run 1 Min/Walk 2 Min for 2 Miles

Cross Training For Beginners

2 mile run

Rest

5K Race!



You can tackle race day by running the entire time without stopping or choose a more settled approach by alternating between walking and running. No matter what your plan to finishing the race is, there are certain rules and tips that everyone should follow before attempting their first 5K. 

  1. Invest in appropriate running shoes and begin using them while you are training. You don’t want to buy new shoes a few days before the race.  A good running shoe could vastly affect running by providing your body with the support it needs to push you to the finish line.

  2. Listen to your body. Even the most well-trained runner will have days when they might have to make changes to their running plan. Your body will tell you its limits and it’s important that you listen. Slow down if you need to or take a break if you feel you have to. The main goal is to finish the race without injury!

  3. Warm up and stretch before the race starts. Stretching might be the most important thing that you can do before the race. Make sure you spend enough time warming up your muscles and stretching them out so that you will be less likely to cramp up or seriously injure yourself during the race.

  4. Don’t ignore the rest & recovery days during your race training. It’s only natural for you to want to dive head first into your training without taking a day off. However, the rest days are a vital part of your training. They allow muscles to recover so they can get stronger and help you achieve more in the coming days of training. Skipping the rest days can lead to over-training which my take you out of the race before you even start.

  5. Pay attention to your diet. Although you should practice clean and healthy eating even when you are not training for the race, it’s crucial that you do so while training. The foods that you choose to eat is what will fuel your body during the race and while training.  Focus on drinking lots of water and reducing or eliminating the amount of processed foods you eat.


You can go to Active.com to find a 5k race near you. Challenge yourself to finish your first 5k race this year.  If you have any questions about your first 5k, leave your comments below and I’ll respond accordingly. For more free home workouts guides and fitness tips,  ‘Like’ my Facebook page

 



Comments


Is Day 1 limited to a .5 mile workout only? Or are you to continue running and walking for several cycles more? What about a walking warm-up & cool-down?


This routine is barely enough to get somebody in better shape, let alone run a 5k at the end of 8 weeks. Only one workout has you go up to 3 miles. If you want to comfortably run a 5k you should be training at 5-6 miles to train your cardiovascular system to maintain control for more than 5 miles. If you're only use to going up to 3 miles during training, then doing 3 miles at max effort during a race will not be possible.



I think this depends on the type of beginner you are.  If you are a beginner to running, but not significantly overweight or really out of shape, this might work for you.  But if you are either or both of those, being expected to run 1.5 miles straight (almost half a 5k) the second week is probably optimistic. 

I started running last year (very overweight and out of shape) using the Couch to 5k program and the first time I had to run 5 minutes straight, I thought I was going to die.  LOL   I really recommend an interval training program to work up to running a 5k.   At least that worked for me!   Just completed my 4th 5k earlier today.



Can I start at a walk/run at a mile and a half on that first Tuesday?  It might boost me a little to feel like I'm accomplishing something.  Since I'm not significantly overweight (at least I don't feel like I am?  I'm 215 lb), and I used to be a cross country runner (7 years ago) I'm supposing that maybe I could do a little more?  Should I take it easy and get started in the "Run Your First 5K" way or should I be focusing on a stricter run? Doubling the workouts?  I don't mind taking two days right there, but I'm just wondering...



It's true, I could run 5K without problem after a few weeks (at >330 lbs), using the pod runner interval podcasts. The music isn't exactly my taste, but I was too lazy to create my own ;) ... they have "empty" templates, though.

However, best shoes IMO are none or minimal shoes. Anything else will create problems for the knees and other joints. Don't take this lightly. Especially when you are overweight the extra strain on the knees due to conventional "comfortable" shoes might incur huge costs later on. Those conventional shoes support the foot in the wrong way. Leaving the shoe out will take some getting used to, but I think it's absolutely worth it.



Side-note: I did extensive swimming aside from the running. Probably I wouldn't have developed the stamina so quickly otherwise. I could swim three hours breast stroke without a break after a few weeks, for example (within the first eight weeks actually). Got me some bad sunburns, though Frown



Original Post by: vidarr

Side-note: I did extensive swimming aside from the running. Probably I wouldn't have developed the stamina so quickly otherwise. I could swim three hours breast stroke without a break after a few weeks, for example (within the first eight weeks actually). Got me some bad sunburns, though Frown


Haha, it's winter in the Carolinas so I won't see a swimming pool until April.  But hopefully I'll have a new apartment complex by then that HAS a swimming pool to use.



A couple of years ago, at age 31, I found this same eight-week program on the About.com site for "Running," followed it religiously, and did my first 5K with no problems!  I had never played sports in school or anything like that, so I had no idea how do-able (or not) preparing for a 5K run might be in any given amount of time.  Then I found this plan, and I was like, "OK, apparently if I just do this, it means I'll be ready in eight weeks, so here goes!"  And it was fine, and I was pretty proud of myself for doing it.  Perhaps there might be some better training plan if you want to be really competitive.  My only goal was simply to run a 5K without stopping or injuring myself, and with this plan, I reached that goal (yay!).



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