So you have decided to run a 5k. Or at least you’re looking into the possibility of it. Great, you have a nice little adventure in front of you.
Now let’s get started. In this post you will find many simple 5k running tips on pretty much everything about a 5k run, and what’s more important you will learn couple of things when training for a 5k.
Especially if you’re still a beginner, these 5k running tips will surely help you finish across the line, or chase the stopwatch if that’s your goal. Anyway…
Where to start?
First of all let us go through the time span you’ll need to prepare before the actual race. If you’ve been running for some time now, and your goal is just to finish the race, then two weeks are just enough. But if you are considering yourself not to be in the right shape, or want to chase the time on the stopwatch, then either way you will need a month or something over a month.
It’s always better to allow yourself more space and time to prepare, the more the better. So schedule your training plan appropriate to the race date, and get yourself ready.
You’ll need to find a race too. Just look for the one closest to you. If you can, look for the one that is scheduled for spring or early summer season. According to me, these are the best periods of the year for running a 5k. More so your training will be far more pleasant and you will more likely stick to the running schedule.
Now when that’s done, let us go through the commitment.
Commit yourself to achieving the goal.
What I mean by this?
Well, simple – think of someone that you are close to, and promise him that you will succeed. By now you will probably know what success means to you – whether it’s just finishing the line by crawling the last mile, or finishing among the first ten or fifty competitors.
You can even add more to this, and write that you are preparing for the 5k race on your social profiles, and by doing so you are bound in a way with sticking to your goal.
But this goes only to the extent of not quitting, and staying on the track. What needs to motivate you is entirely different, so read along.
Here is a tip: Take a pen and paper, or even do this in the computer and print it latter, write “I will finish the race” or “I will finish the race under 20 minutes” or “I will win the 5k race”.
Whatever does it for you, really. Now take that piece of paper and put it somewhere where you can see it each and every day. The commitment alone will drive you forward, but this will give you the strength when you need it the most.
Ok, that’s done, what’s next?
The basic gear you’ll need for a 5k run.
There is no philosophy here. Choose whatever clothing you find comfortable. Go with materials that give your body the chance to breath, and give sweat a chance to evaporate without staying on you.
Every big name brand has a line intended for this occasion, but you should decide this for yourself.
The most important thing though, are the shoes. This will determine part of your success in the journey, so be wise to choose carefully.
Go to the local store and ask the employee there for an advice. They usually know the most, since they are getting feedback constantly from customers. Remember that not every shoe is made for everyone, so what worked for some will not necessarily work for you.
A thing or two about the mindset when preparing for a 5k run.
If you haven’t participated in a race before, or were never a competitive fellow, then forget about counting the miles and minutes early on in your training program.
Running a 5k is not a joke, especially for the beginners, so not only you will need to know how to run a 5k, you will also need to know what adjustments you will have to make to your daily routine, habits, lifestyle in general. Also a home workout program like the new p90 workout should help a lot.
Staying focused and concentrated is one of the key things about a 5k run. Avoid the additional stress, and leave measuring the progress at least half way through the training schedule.
Running a 5k requires full training schedule, and skipping sessions will ruin the whole thing. You’ll be able to read more about the training plan for a 5k in another post in a week or so. For now remember to never skip a session.
Another thing that will help you make sure you never get the temptation to do that, is to avoid staying up late, as well as over drinking or over eating. You should be rested and feel light in order to train. Because train, you will.
On the very start of your training plan try to stay relaxed, listen to some music, or think about other stuff that take your thoughts from the running itself, and by that lifting the burden on the start. As you progress you will find this not that necessary.
That way not only this whole thing will be far more pleasant, but you will also avoid some injuries that may strike when least expected.
If you need to remember only one thing from these 5k running tips let it be this – always stretch and warm up before you start running. I had my share of injuries not doing this, so take my advice and avoid doing that yourself. Even if this sound silly for some: “How hard running a 5k can be?” Believe me, even a mile run can get you injured if you are not ready for it.
And this goes even if you are deep in your training schedule. Usually that’s where this happens. You get over confident, or simply lazy, and the muscles are more tired than before. So you do the math.
You don’t know what is like to train hard for a race, make that commitment, see some progress in your training, get your hopes around something, and then bam! – you get injured and you have to quit the race and the training. I’ve been through that- It’s a bummer.
I hope I scared you enough. Now let’s move on.
Try to find someone to train with.
A good thing you can do while training, or even before that is to find someone to train with. Preparing for the 5k alone is good in terms of focus and it’s a jewel if you are the fan of solitude, but finding a partner to support each other with is something entirely different. It gives motive and will power like nothing compared to it.
The commitment is ten times stronger, and you enjoy witnessing each other’s progress. If you don’t have someone that is willing to train for the 5k (I never convinced some of my friends), then just be easygoing and find someone in the park, or wherever you train. Maybe you will find someone interesting, who knows. This adds some motivation in its own way.
Make the race day a thing to remember. Decide whether you will like to go alone, or gather your friends, or only have the support of your significant other. Get there early, and be ready before time. That way you will not get distracted by anything. Also it’s a good thing to know the terrain before, so going couple of times across it before race day is usually recommended.
I think these things alone will set you off to a good start, and you will enjoy the journey more. So I will wrap this one by saying: I hope you have a great adventure and enjoy the run!
Read the other parts of the Beginner’s 5k Running Plan series: