Beginners Guide to Running a 5KPosted: June 8, 2012 in Getting Active by Craig Primack MD FACP
Participating in a 5K might seem like a stretch to those who are just starting out with a weight loss program here in Scottsdale or Chandler, but rest assured that before you know it, walking or jogging 3.1 miles will be a possible and even enjoyable feat.
Running a 5K is a challenge, but crossing the finish line is an emotional reward that you won’t soon forget.
Many 5K runs are started for a charity and most of them welcome walkers, joggers and serious runners alike, making them a great starting place for those new to the racing atmosphere. Even so, it is a good idea to take several weeks to train for a 5K before you cross the starting line, otherwise three miles can feel like forever.
Prior to heading out for your first run, make sure to get a proper pair of running shoes that offer both arch support and sufficient cushioning, and make sure to wear and lose breathable clothing. Warm up before your run by walking the first few blocks to get your heart rate up and thoroughly limber up your leg muscles.
Starting out is the hardest part of running, especially if you have never taken up the sport before. Don’t attempt to run three miles on your first go. Instead, start out by walking and insert short bursts of running when you can. Walk for 10 minutes and then jog for five, or until you need to take a break. You can implement interval training until you build up your endurance to handle running for an extended period of time.
As you work towards improving your endurance, attempt to average close to a 15 minute per mile pace, as this will keep you in step with others during the 5K.
Interested in signing up for your first 5K? Here are some local races that are coming up this year:
- Racin’ at the Basin is a series of 5K races at the Scottsdale Sports Complex in Scottsdale. This race series is designed for beginners and families to participate in, as well as for those who are experienced runners. The top male and female runners will receive fun prizes. The next two races are coming up later this summer on Saturday, July 21st and Saturday, August 18th.
- Dirty 6 Mud Run in Chandler will feature a 6-mile and 3-mile race for adults and a 1-mile fun run for the kids. You’ll get plenty dirty at this race as you trek through the mud at Rawhide Western Town. The race takes place on September 22nd.
These are just two races that are coming up soon. Let us know in the comments below if there are any other races that you are looking forward to, and tell us how you do!