Using a 5K to jump start your fitness

Looking for a way to jumpstart your fitness during this spring? Tis the season for 5Ks!

A 5K equals just 3.1 miles and is an attainable goal for just about anyone, even if you’re sedentary by nature. With a little training, you can find yourself revitalized and proud of yourself.  If you’ve never tried running, it’s something that you should really give a shot. Starting out can be intimidating, but jump in and give it a try!

Six weeks is a reasonable training time for someone who has never run before to go from sedentary to a 5K.  So with that in mind, here’s a basic sample training schedule and how to.

  1. Pick your race. Allow yourself six weeks at least, don’t try to cheat the schedule especially if you’ve never run a race before. Runner’s World has a great race finder. 
  2. Find a plan that works for you. They’re literally ALL OVER the internet. It can get overwhelming.  I’ve included here a super simple time training plan. Since it’s a time based plan,  all you’ll need is your watch and some decent running shoes in order to get started. This is a real beginner plan and meant for someone who’s never run before. Remember that in the real race, you can walk for portions when you’re unable to continue running.  The idea here is to start small and to increase gradually.
      SUN MON TUES WED THURS FRI SAT
    Week 1 REST REST 10 min – jog as much as you can, walk when needed REST 10 min – jog as much as you can, walk when needed REST 10 min – jog as much as you can, walk when needed
    Week 2 REST REST 15 min – aim to run for one 5 min stretch REST 15 min – aim to run for one 5 min stretch REST 15 min – aim to run for one 5 min stretch
    Week 3 REST REST 20 min – run for 7 min stretch REST 20 min – run for 7 min stretch REST 20 min – run for 7 min stretch
    Week 4 REST REST 25 min – run for 10 min stretch REST 25 min – run for 10 min stretch REST 25 min – run for 10 min stretch
    Week 5 REST REST 30 min – run for 10 min stretch REST 30 min – run for 10 min stretch REST 30 min – run for 10 min stretch
    Week 6 REST REST 30 min – run as much as you can REST 20 min – run as much as you can REST RACE DAY!!
  3. Follow your plan. You’ll find that you’re feeling better and stronger every week.  Running is addictive for most people, so hang in there for those first couple of weeks. Every time you run you’ll get stronger and enjoy it more.
  4. RACE!!

 

One of the best parts about doing a 5K is that you can do it with your family and friends. You can also find a cause that you’re passionate about to run for – there are 5K’s for everything from cancer prevention to the Girl Scouts out there. We’re planning to do the Bunny Run on Easter weekend at Lake Junaluska, there’ll be an Easter egg hunt and a half mile fun run for the kids. A great way to encourage family health!

In summary, here are 5 reasons to do a 5K this Spring:

  • Jumpstart your health.
  • Inexpensive (most 5K’s have an entry fee less than $30)
  • Huge sense of accomplishment.
  • An attainable, reasonable goal for almost anyone.
  • Support a good cause!
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