A great deal of people who run the 5K, much like preparing to run the marathon, start out too fast.
Remember, it is only 3.1 miles but if you start out too fast and have not trained to handle that pace that fun 5K could be a slow march home.
I speak from experience and can surely attest to the fact that this is true.
If you are running the distance for the first time the principles, like running the longer distances such as the marathon, hold true.
You have to manage your pace properly and focus your running around running at your specific goal pace in training.
I wrote about this specifically in my post A Proven Technique That Will Get You Racing Results
You can be ready to run a great debut 5K in as short as 8 weeks.
In order to run fast, the athlete must be conditioned to both physically and mentally experiencing running fast through their entire athletic career.
Speed must never be neglected at any stage of development, whether it be in the cold of winter, the pre-competitive season in the spring, of the peak of summer.-Dr. Joe Vigil
Run your first 5K
Take it slow Runners thinking about training for their very first 5K should gradually build into running their mileage. Do not over think about missing days.
It takes times and fitness WILL come but you cannot rush it. I would find a race 12 weeks out.
This is one of the greatest things in sport, not soley to run a world-class time, but to help other runners achieve their goals.
I am talking specifically in your iron intake. I was found to be severely anemic while competing with the Army World Class Athlete Program If your body runs low on iron you can have all the motivation in the world and still fall short in workouts.I couldn’t figure it out until Lisa Larsen Rainsberger, my professional coach from 2007-2010, had me take a blood test and it turned out I was anemic.
Iron is necessary for production of hemoglobin in your red blood cells. Hemoglobin carries oxygen from the lungs to the muscles. If your hemoglobin level is low, less oxygen reaches your muscles, and your VO2 max and racing performances suffer. In addition, iron is a component of many other substances in the body, such as enzymes in your muscle cells for aerobic energy production.-Pete Pfitzinger
Start with walking
. This is first attempt at running the 3.1 mile race and so don’t go out an try to run everyday day of the week. As you get stronger and your fitness grows gradually incorporate a few short runs into your week. Look at your goals and let them drive you.You are already focused, otherwise you would not be reading this in the first place. I wrote a short post about this in 4 Helpful Facts To Help You Run Your Best This Year and cannot stress enough that finding the joy in your preparation and using your drive to prepare will pay you back big dividends in your first 5K.
Incorporate in fartleks
Strength and stamina
Early on, you may have a weekly long run of 5 miles. Great. That is an awesome start so as you get further into your training focus on getting that distance up to 7, than to 9, than to 12. The amount of strength and endurance you will build by doing one long run per week is without question, the bread and butter workout that will not only give you the strength to run the 3.1 mile race but will totally shock you in how powerful and strong it will make you
Relax Your Face
Remember to have fun, gradually build into your training. We are not looking to put in 100 mile weeks and running sub 5 minute miles out there.
This is your first experience so enjoy it. That is the one thing we as runners who are in the competitive bracket totally forget.
The focus on times and hitting certain splits get in the way of the very thing we are trying to do, enjoy the hard work we have put in. Runners at higher fitness levels can learn a lot from beginners so I commend you all.
How to run a 5K is about learning as you go, finding what works best for you, because everyone is different, and gradually building your fitness level up so that you can easily tackle the distance.
You’ll run the 5K and then want to test the 10K.
You may eventually be running 100 mile races.
I can tell you when I was in high school running the mile and 2-mile at track meets, running the marathon was never something I had ever envisioned myself doing.
Define your goal
What is your goal for your next marathon? Do you have a plan of where you want to run your first? Have you run a 5K and if so, what was your experience? I would love to hear your story.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post. Please feel free to leave a comment. I hope this was helpful. Please send me your feedback as to what areas of training you are would like written about. Any area I can assist you with.
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