Running tips – Running 5k can be a daunting prospect. Your mind will start to play tricks on you once you have made the decision to run. Don’t get psyched out by it. As a beginner runner you should focus on yourself rather than what other people can do. You must remember that not all runners are the same. They come in different shapes and sizes. With the right training anyone, including yourself can run 5k, and when you do your first race you will see all types of people doing it. It is important that you don’t give yourself a way out, because if you do you will take it!
2) Pace yourself
When you are new to running it can be easy to do too much to soon. It is a mistake that many runners make. My advice is to start slowly to avoid injuring yourself. Start by doing a run/walk interval and as time goes on and your fitness levels start to increase you find that you can integrate more running and less rest. I heard a quote that you should “run until your tired, work until your bored.” This is great advice for someone who is new to running, and someone who may not be sure whether they like running.
3) Get a running partner
Try to find a running partner, preferably someone who is a better runner then you are currently. This person can help to motivate you and help to keep you accountable to ensure you achieve your training goal. If you can’t find a training partner you may be able to join a running group or your local running club. This can be extremely motivational as whatever the weather, they will be there. Also, the social element really helps as you know that you’re not alone.
4) Make a great playlist
I said previously in my article running for beginners that whether you choose to listen to music or not is your own choice. I personally prefer to exercise with no music as I like to connect to the highs and lows of the workout. However, if you prefer to shut the pain out then put together some playlists with some of your favourite songs. Go for something upbeat. Alternatively, you may prefer to listen to podcasts while you are out on your runs. It may not be as motivating as listening to your favourite songs from the 80’s or 90’s (whoops, I’m showing my age here), but it may be good enough to get you started on your run. It is worth experimenting between podcasts and music. Music may not do it for you at all, however listening to the next episode of your favourite podcast may excite you more.
5) Schedule your workouts
Schedule your exercise hour into your daily schedule so that you don’t miss it. You want your runs to become regular part of your routine rather than a chore. Ideally stick to the same times and days week to week so that you form a habit. However, if your schedule changes week to week then try to make sure that spend 1 hour on a Sunday planning your week and scheduling your runs.
6) Invest in good gear
You will need a good pair of running shoes to help you prevent injuries. You will need to go to a specialist running shop. They will look at how you run and recommend the best pair of shoes for you to reduce your injury risk. If you are running in the summer the type of material that your shirts are made from make a big difference. Some tops are better at removing sweat than others. In the long run this will help you stay cooler. If it is cold make sure you get some thermal clothes for the winter, and some high vis clothes in case you are running at night time.
7) Measure your progress
If you are not assessing, then your guessing. Take the guess work out of your runs by keeping track of what you are doing. Failing to measure your progress is like travelling with no map or navigational system. You have the destination, which is to do a 5k, but how do you know if you are close to your destination if you are not checking your progress?
Running tips for 5k and sample training plan for beginners
Here is a great example of a 10-week training program to finish that first 5k in style. This is an example training plan from active.com Week 1: Do 20 to 30 minutes of walking. Week 2: Do walking intervals of 3 minutes followed by 30 – 60 seconds of running for 20 – 25 minutes. Week 3: Do a 2-minute walking interval followed by 1 minute of running for between 24 – 30 minutes. Week 4: Walk an interval of 1.5 minutes, run a interval of 1.5 minutes, walk for 3 minutes and do your last running interval for 3 minutes. You must then repeat these intervals three times for a total of 27 minutes. Week 5: Running for 3 minutes, walking for 1.5 minutes; running for 5 minutes, walking for 2.5 minutes; running for 3 minutes, walking for 1.5 minutes; running for 5 minutes, walking for 1.5 minutes; running for 5 minutes, walking for 2 minutes– This is a grand total of 30 minutes. Week 6: Two days this week, alternate a 5-minute run and 3-minute walk for 30 minutes total. On day three, 8 minutes of running and 5 minutes of walking two times for 26 minutes total. Week 7: On day one, 5 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking, 8 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking, run 5 minutes of running–for 24 minutes total. On days two and three, run 10 minutes, walk 3, run 10 for 23 total. Week 8: Run 25 minutes. Week 9: Run 28 minutes. Week 10: On day one, run 30 minutes. On day two, run 31. On day three, run 5K.
Gerald has a bachelor’s degree in Exercise, Nutrition & Health. He is an ASA qualified swimming teacher, and a qualified personal trainer. Gerald has developed his own exclusion diet, which he uses to help his clients lose weight.