Running works miracles for your mind and body. Whether you’re looking for a new way to relieve stress or trying to lose weight, running can help you accomplish your goals. If you’re looking to build up your running stamina, training for a 5K can help you stick to your plan. Learn more about what a 5k is and how to start training for one.
Finding your first 5K
Running first became a popular American pastime in the 1970s and has recently gained more traction thanks to the popularity of 5Ks. If you aren’t familiar with the metric system, a 5K is a 3.1 mile race that people either walk or run. So why exactly have they exploded in popularity? Well for one thing, it’s a very doable distance. If you’re the type of person who only runs when being chased, you may think that’s crazy talk. Of course 3+ miles is a long distance! But compared to marathons and half marathons, 5Ks are much more reasonable. 5Ks give people the chance to join the running community and have just as much fun as more serious runners who train all year round for marathons.
From doing laps around your local high school track to becoming a walking piece of art at The Color Run, running gives you a lot of options. Need some motivation to get moving? Type in your location on this 5K finder to find a fun race near you. Or check out Running in the USA for some of the best 5k races in the Worcester area.
Set realistic goals
While you may not come in first for you age group, imagine how accomplished you’ll feel once you cross the finish line. The most important thing to remember when training and running a 5k is that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Don’t stress out if you’re two weeks out from the race and you’re still taking walking breaks. That’s okay. Being honest with yourself from the get-go will prevent injuries and avoid disappointment. Before you set off on your first run, make sure that your goals align with your abilities. For example, if you’re new to running, set a goal that you’ll complete the race without stopping once. If you take a casual jog from time to time, commit yourself to running the entire race in 30 minutes or less.
Create a training plan
Unlike other trendy workouts like spinning or barre class, you can’t simply show up and run a 5K without any training. Well, technically you could but that might be the first and last race you’ll ever run (thanks, shin splints). Although you’re only signed up to run 3.1 miles and not a marathon (26.2), we highly recommend you bite off the distance little by little. For example, the first run you ever take can just be a mile with intervals of walking and jogging. Don’t know where to begin? Here’s how you can get started with running.
Slip into something a little more comfortable
Trust us, we’re all about brand new shoes, but not for race day. Yes, practicing running is a huge part of training, but so is finding the right gear for your body. We suggest you avoid any experimentation with shoes, clothes, and diet before the big day. Trying a new pre-workout shake might make you sick and new clothes can cause chaffing and blisters. Go with what works best for you. Ready to get started on the hunt for the perfect running shoes? Definitely pick up a pair that are specifically designed for running (not cross-training) and go for comfort over style. Invest in a good pair and we promise your joints will thank you.
Start training for your first 5K on your local Boost Fitness’s top-of-the-line cardio equipment. While training on a treadmill won’t prepare you for race conditions, it protects you from unpredictable Massachusetts weather. Download your free day pass to get started.