Congratulations! You decided to run a 5K race or a 10K race. Or maybe you are still thinking about it, and just want to know some good training concepts.
Either way, the following will help you be a better runner, and will help you look good when you run in a race, even if it is your first one.
Here are 10 Keys for Beginners to Train for a 5K or 10K Race
Build a Base
If you are just starting out, then right now your focus is to build up to a decent running base.
A running base means that you are able to run at least 3 miles three times a week.
If you are not able to do that, then just keep working at it, and follow the newbie running schedule here.
Having goals for the short term as well as the long term is important to continually improve, and to have some purpose to your running program.
If you do not have any clear goals, then how will you know if you have succeeded or not?
Less can be more
Remember that you should not over do it. This is one of the biggest mistakes new and experienced runners make. Limit any increases in running to 5 to 10% per week.
Your body needs to build up slowly, and if you do too much too fast, you are much more likely to get injured, fatigued, or ‘burned out’.
You want to give yourself a good workout, and you want to push yourself, but you also need to
Rest and recovery can be just as important as the training process itself. On your easy and off days your body is repairing the muscles and is recovering from the hard work you did during the hard days.
Make sure that you add enough recovery time to your training schedule, and never run two hard days back to back.
It is okay to run an an easy day before or after a hard day, but you may also want to do some cross training on these days instead of running.
Try to be consistent in your running program. If you work up to running a marathon, and then you just stop running altogether, then what have you really accomplished in the end?
Consider your running program for the long term.
Try to do some running or physical activity five or six days a week for 52 weeks of the year.
If you decide to taper off from running some, then still try to run once or twice a week, and maintain your base.
While having some change in the routine can be a good way to make your running more enjoyable, it is equally important to maintain this base endurance as well.
If you have the mindset that fitness and running is just a normal part of your lifestyle, then you will have no trouble with this important key to running.
I hope you find these tips useful in your training for your upcoming race. In the next post of this series, I will share tips as listening to your body, and train to race.
Train to Race
If you want to run a 5K in a certain time period, or you want to run a 10K, then you need to train in a way that will help you meet those goals.
This will include some speed running and running workouts to increase your running pace and your aerobic capacity.
For 5K and 10K racers, you will also want to make sure you run some medium to long runs that match and exceed these distances to build up your endurance.
Listen to Your Body
Everyone’s body is different. We have different size and shapes, different genetic makeups, and different genders.
All of these factors will affect how you train, and how you run. You are the only one that can listen to your body, and know what works for you.
As you run more and more, you will get better at adjusting the recommendations myself and others give to you so that you can stay healthy, but also be successful in meeting your running goals.
Learn From Yourself and Others
Over time, you will learn things about running that will help you train better, stay healthy, and do better in races.
Sometimes this learning comes from mistakes you make, but you can also learn from others as well. Talk to others, read, and learn what you can to make your running better.
You cannot learn everything or do everything you need to automatically, though. It does take time to improve.
Have Perspective & Have Fun
Running can become addicting if you let it. You may find your self thinking about running all of the time.
Or you may turn into someone who cannot have a good day unless they have run 6 miles!
Just make sure that your family and your other aspects of your life to not suffer at the expense of your running program.
Don’t’ Forget Nutrition
Without the proper nutrients of food, water, and even oxygen, our bodies will not have the fuel to propel us in our running program.
If you are trying to cut a few pounds, then you should know that nutrition is an even more important factor to consider.
The key point here is that a successful running program will have some provisions for proper diet and hydration to keep you healthy and effective. Eat well, drink plenty of water, and consider taking some vitamins to supplement your diet.
Now that you have the 10 keys to training for a race, you are ready to sign up for a race and start training.
I guess you just need to decide what distance and what race you are going to run! Here is to your success in your upcoming race!