I'm RUNNING A MARATHON! I just agreed to pull it off with my cousin Kristen, and I'm so excited. I've refused for months, feeling like I didn't have time to train, or rather train the way I like to. The marathon is in ONE MONTH, so this is going to hurt, but like I said, for some reason I'm really excited. My goal has been to run a marathon between each kid, but I kind of gave this up as unrealistic for me and called it good with the 1/2 marathon I did earlier this year. However, I'm glad to have this opportunity to get the goal done.
This post however is not about me, but rather about the 5k race. It's such a great race, difficult, fast, fun, and pretty easy to train for. I've had several friends mention that they'd like to get ready for a 5k, I'd like to run one myself (after the marathon!). I have previously posted some 5k training tips/workouts that you can find in Labels under 5k (tricky tricky). I'd like to add to the collection though.
Here are 5 (4 rather, but 5 sounded better) tips for 5ks. With more to come in the future...
1. Sign up for a race or two. I'd recommend signing up for a race just 2 months after you've begun training. Think of it as a practice race. Even though you may not feel ready in time for the race, it will give you motivation to keep training. If you schedule a race 6 months in advance, you'll have too much time and too many excuses until you get to the starting line. Use this practice race to get a good idea of where you're at. If you've never run a 5k, you'll have your first racing time. You can use this to plug into workouts and to push yourself to improve for the next race. Schedule your next race just a month or two following your practice race. This will give you time to continue training and improving.
2. Start where you're at. If you've just taken up running, try using the 3 to 30 rule. Jog for 3 minutes and walk for 30 seconds. You can also use land marks...run to that pole and walk to the mailbox. Gradually increase your running time and decrease your walking breaks. As a beginner, I would still recommend doing some speed work because the 5k race is a fast one. If you only have 3 days to train, try two days of milage 3-5 miles and one day of speed work like sprints down your road 8 times with 1 minute of recovery. This speed work will actually improve your longer mile days, making your body more efficient and strong.
3. Weight train/yoga. On "rest" days when you're not running, add some strength training and yoga. Doing lunges and pushups in the comfort of your own home are great. Pull out what in-home exercise equipment you do have and USE IT! Look up some moves at Yoga Journal (link supplied at left) and keep yourself flexible and injury free.
4. Don't get bored. Make sure to mix up what you're doing. If you don't naturally LOVE to go out for a run, you might not want to fool yourself into thinking you're going to go out for 5 miles everyday. Use my suggestions and mix in sprints, jump roping, biking, and yoga. Break up the miles by doing 2 minutes fast, 1 minute slow. I LOVE to run and I've been bored before, so I know it can happen to everyone. Don't go out and run around the same 3 blocks everyday or you'll loose the excitement, adventure, and fun that is running!