Five kilometers is a great distance for runners of all abilities. Its 3.106-mile length is perfect for the beginner looking to test their stamina. There’s a 5K race almost every weekend for those intermediate runners looking to set a personal record. For the advanced runner, it is a perfect length to tune-up before a longer distance race.
However, the best part may be that the 5K isn’t just for runners! If you would like to have a lot of fun, set an attainable fitness goal and feel fantastic about your accomplishment, you should find a local 5K run and give it a try.
Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced runner (or not a runner at all), these nine little steps will lead you to an awesome 5K. Let’s get started!
- Find Your Motivation
The choice to change and improve your fitness level is resonating within you, but you may lack motivation, desire or self-control. If you find you start new fitness quests but never finish them, you likely don’t have a big enough “Why” or enough Whys to see you to the end.
Your Whys are the specific emotional ties that help you get out of bed in the morning to workout and control yourself at meal time. Your reasons should be very personal, but they could include things like feeling confident when you enter a meeting, looking sexy for your spouse on an upcoming vacation, or even living to see your kids grow up and get married.
Write down all of the emotional reasons that you have for completing your 5K run and don’t hold back.
- Pick a Plan that Fits You
There are many plans out there, both free and paid, that will take you from a sedentary state to running a strong 5K within 6-10 weeks. Picking a plan that is right for you is of utmost importance since finding a plan that fits your particular fitness needs and available training time will increase your chances of staying on track to your 5K.
At Fit Marriage, we have developed a free 6-week 5K training plan that is designed to get you running well while improving your overall fitness and shedding excess weight, and it requires less than 30 minutes for each training session. Feel free to pick it up and see if it suits you.
- Commit To The Plan
The excitement that occurs when you begin a program is awesome! You launch out of the starting blocks with everything you have. Unfortunately for some of you, that excitement will fizzle out and it makes it difficult to continue on your 5K journey.
Once you find a training plan that will accommodate your life, you simply need to commit to your plan and mentally make it your own. This would also be a great time to find a specific race that coincides with the completion of your training and get signed up!
- Set Measurable & Specific Goals
Once you’re committed to a plan, you should set goals that will keep you motivated and excited about completing your 5K. This could be as simple as completing your first 5K, a specific time you want to complete the event in, running the entire course without walking or stopping, or it could be a combination of losing weight and toning your body over the course of your training program with the 5K race simply representing the final event.
- Track Your Progress by Writing it Down
Print out your program and after each workout that you complete put a check mark by it or cross it out. Add comments that will help you during your next workout.
This will be a visible reminder of what you have accomplished so far. Make it known to your family and friends that you are training for a 5K. Share your experiences, post about your runs on Facebook, or blog about it. If you have a GPS device, track your run/walks and upload them so you can monitor your time, distance, average speed, and calories burned as specific measures of your progress.
- Focus on Your “Personal Best”
In today’s world, we are always looking at how well the other person did. It’s time for you to look at yourself in the mirror and become the best version of you that you can become.
There are many ways that you can grow as an athlete. When it comes to running a 5K, it could be setting a time for yourself and beating it on race day, or you can compete in a race with hilly terrain. For your non-running workouts, you can add weights, bands or a medicine ball to each exercise to add an element of difficulty. Push yourself to do your best.
- Build Your Support Team
Having a support group around you can make the difference when it comes to putting your very best effort into your 5K training. These are folks who will be there to pick you up when you are down, and you should be selective to choose individuals who will stick by you. Your spouse makes a great accountability partner!
The social aspect of running is one reason many get into it. If you are not training with your spouse or a close friend, look for a local running club you can meet up with if your schedule permits.
- Find a Mantra
Pick a short phrase that you say over and over in your head to keep you motivated. You can even yell it out if you have to, as long as it keeps you fired up and moving forward! Finding a mantra is as easy as finding a quote in a magazine, listening to your iPod and hearing something that resonates with you, or getting words of inspiration from your spouse.
- Prepare for Obstacles Along the Way
Life happens. We are busy folks with jobs, families, other activities, and more. If we don’t prepare ourselves and how we will get our workouts in when obstacles happen, more times than not we simply won’t do our workouts.
Instead of focusing on how you won’t be able to complete your workout, refocus your energy on how you can make it happen. Maybe you can’t do the entire workout because you’ve had a really long day at work or a meeting came up. Instead of spending 30 minutes on the workout, just do 15 minutes worth. If you can’t be outside, use your stairs or run in place if that’s what it takes. Just get something in on the workout days so that you keep moving forward.
Just follow these nine little steps to get ready for your first (or best) 5K run. You’ll feel fantastic when you cross the finish line, and you may even start calling yourself a runner!
|Written on 6/17/2011 by Tony DiLorenzo. Tony s the co-founder of Fit Marriage where he helps busy couples and on-the-go parents get fit, stay healthy and live a life they love. Pick up your free Ready, Set, Go! 5K Training Blueprint along with five other awesome (and free) fitness resources when you visit today!||Photo Credit: soaringbird|