Spring Training: 5K Run–April 2015

Spring is in the air, making it the perfect time to lace up your jogging shoes. Need a running goal? Sign up for a local 5K race, and maybe convince some friends to do it with you.

Whether you’ve been hitting the gym as a regular this winter or hibernating from the cold, you can follow these suggestions to make training a little easier:

  • Start training early. If you have a 5K already scheduled, start training at least five weeks ahead of time.
  • If you’re getting started after a fairly sedentary winter, start slowly. One effective method is to alternate running and walking. Start with a one-minute run and five-minute walk, and repeat for a total of 30 minutes. Gradually increase the running time until you meet your goals.

Make sure you gear up correctly to avoid unnecessary discomfort and potential injuries:

  • If you’re serious about running, make sure you buy the right shoes. It’s not worth skimping on cheap shoes if you end up with foot pain and possibly even doctor visits to correct foot problems.
  • Spring brings warmer weather, but dressing appropriately for the temperature might still be challenging. Plan your running outfit for 20 degrees warmer than what it actually is—you’ll warm up as you run.

When embarking on a new fitness or running program, your enthusiasm is likely to start high and then dip after a short time. Find your key to success:

  • Some people are motivated by having a running buddy or group. If you’re someone who needs external motivation, enlist a friend to run with you or at least keep you accountable as you approach race day.
  • Know that after you start training, you’re probably going to feel sore and wiped out. Let your body adjust before you decide to hang up your running shoes for good.

Even though getting started might be difficult, keep running. The date of your 5K will be here before you know it, and all your training will pay off with a successful finish and better health.