How to Train for a 5k: Part 1 of 3-part Series
Training for a race can add a new challenge and level of excitement to any workout routine. Races occur almost any given weekend all over the Upstate. Running a 5K, or 3.1 miles, is a great distance for beginners and can be trained for in under two months.
There are many training regimens available that will help you prepare for the race. These are important because they show you step-by-step how to slowly increase your time and intensity spent training. Each week incorporates a mix of walking, running and resting. According to The Mayo Clinic, this combination is essential to prevent fatigue and injury. Common running injuries include muscle strains and meniscus tears. A good portion of the first few weeks is devoted to walking as your body will gradually adjust and you will be able easily increase the amount of time spent running. Relatively all schedules outline the first two weeks described below:
Week One and Two:
• Alternate running and walking for at least 30 minutes four days each week
• Challenge yourself on the 5th or 6th day to walk/run 3.5 miles
• Allow two days of rest one before your challenge day and one at the end of your week
Rest is especially important in the recovery process for your body. According to Elizabeth Quinn, a sports medicine expert, “rest is essential to high level performance and physically necessary to repair, rebuild and strengthen the muscles.” The focus of your 6-week training plan is to build endurance and stamina. According to an article published by Livestrong, endurance allows you to exercise longer and good stamina levels lead to better circulation, energy levels and overall health. To build both of these you need a gradual increase in your daily physical activity. After your next four weeks, you will be ready for your first 5K!