So you want to train for a 5K? Even if you've never laced up a pair of running shoes, you can certainly train and complete a 5k using the 5 steps outlined here.
1. Get the right running shoes. Stop by your local running store and get fitted for a proper pair. Most running shops will be able to watch your gait as you run on a treadmill or around the store and recommend a pair. If you've done some running, bring in your old shoes for an assessment.
2. Give yourself enough time. Don't sign up on Wednesday for your first 5k on Saturday! You'll want to give yourself at least 4 weeks to build up and get your body used to running. By taking it slow and adding a little mileage at a time, you'll keep injuries at bay.
3. Train smart. If you are brand new to running, start out with the run/walk method. Run 1 minute, walk 1 minute. Keep adding on a minute every few days. Over a month, you should be able to work yourself up to 30 minutes of running with minimal walking. Try a Fun Run Box, the first month comes with a training guide which is perfect for new runners.
4. Stretch after the run. Gentle stretching after each run will help keep your muscles loose and recover faster. Hamstrings, calves and glutes are the key areas to work on.
5. Massage your muscles. You are asking a lot from your body. Stretching will take care of lengthening your muscles and massaging will help relax them and reduce pain.