Are you about to tackle your very first 5K? Are you just getting back into a running routine after injury? Here’s how to train for a 5k. We’ve got all of the tips, tricks, and hacks to prepare for race day.
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First Thing’s First: How Far Is 5 Kilometers?
When you’re prepping for your first 5K, you’re probably most concerned about the distance: how far is 5 kilometers exactly? Five kilometers (5 kilometers) is approximately 3.1 miles. It’s a distance short enough for beginners to compete, but long enough to be a challenge.
Beginner’s Tips For How To Train For a 5K
When it’s time to train for a 5k, you need to know how to prepare properly—as not to overdo it too soon or injure yourself in the process. Here are our tips for a 5K training beginner.
1. Just get started.
The first stride is always the most difficult—which is why our first tip on how to run a 5K is to just start. Pick a day this week (yes, this week!) to hit the local trail or even your at-home treadmill. Begin with a few days of walking and pick up the pace as you progress.
2. Make a plan + stick to it.
When training for a 5K, you’re essentially conditioning your body for a specific type of exercise. Create a workout plan and stick to it—whatever works for you and is regular. Ideally, you’ll want to dedicate 4 to 5 days per week to run. Start with 20-minute walks, then build up to an alternating run-walk routine. After about 9 weeks on this plan, you’ll surprise yourself at how quickly you see improvements.
3. Don’t forget to accessorize.
Before learning how to train for a 5K, having proper gear is key to a successful first shot. What do you need? Shop for a quality pair of running shoes, sweat-wicking socks, and a sports watch to keep your time.
4. Find a community.
Sticking to your goals and plans are so much easier when you have a group of people supporting you along the way. Often, local breweries or pubs will hold run clubs for community members. Don’t have a run club? Reach out to friends and family to form your own!
5. Take it one step at a time.
How to train for a 5K? Start from where you are, rather than where you want to be. Don’t forget to breathe and take it easy, too. If you’re not used to regular high-intensity cardio activity, conditioning your body might take some time. Take a day off to rest and recharge when you need it. Endurance takes time.
Best Running Shoes For Beginners Training For a 5K
Having the right gear is oh, so important for a beginning runner. Wondering how to train for a 5K? Get the right running shoes first. Here are some top picks from the best running shoe brands of 2018.
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