Have you long wanted to run a 5K but never actually completed one? Do you envy your running friends and wish you could talk about your goals or race finish time? It's time to start dreaming and start doing. Train for your first 5K. Easier said than done, right? Well, we're here to help with the simple step-by-step guide to training for your first race. You can do it, just follow these tips.
Understand the training process.
If you have started training for a 5k and then quit, you likely had unrealistic expectations for yourself. No, you can't instantly run three miles and feel great; if you try, you'll feel terrible. Instead, recognize that like learning to do anything else, there is a learning curve. Your muscles and mind have to get accustomed to the workout, so expect this to take a couple months to achieve.
Recruit a friend.
Studies have shown you are more likely to stick with your training if you have moral support from a friend. So ask a neighbor, coworker, or family member to train with you. Besides, running is much more fun with company! There are numerous apps and fitness routines to help you go from “couch to 5K.” Pick one that works for you and your device. Most will help you pace your progress with intervals of walking and light jogging at first to work up gradually to running a 5K. Keep in mind that these programs are for general users, not you specifically. Sometimes you may need to modify the routine to work for your body. Don't push your body further than it should go just because “the plan says so.”
Register for a race.
Give yourself a goal to work toward by registering for a 5K race in your area. Put the date in red on your calendar, and motivate yourself to keep going so you will be ready for your first race.
Get the shoes.
Be sure you are working out safely by getting proper running shoes. Make certain your arch is properly supported and your shoes fit well. Then only use those shoes for jogging. Running shoes maintain their support for about 350 miles, so be sure to replace them when necessary. Your shoes protect against stress fractures and other injuries, so make certain to get a good pair.
Go for small improvements.
A key to workout success is being honest with where you're at. Don't expect to run a six-minute mile your first time out. Instead, evaluate your current physical shape and level of activity, then celebrate every incremental win above that. Remember, exercise isn't about impressing the neighbors or beating your coworkers, it's about improving your own health. Keep that in mind and celebrate each small win.
Guard your recovery.
An important part of your training is the recovery you schedule in between workouts. Don't run more than every other day at first. Listen to your body, and you'll be good to run for the long haul. Be sure to eat plenty of protein like Promax bars to help your muscles recover, too. Protein is an important ingredient in building and repairing muscles, so make that a larger part of your diet.
Get more workout and exercise tips today by visiting our blog or contacting us at Promax Nutrition.