How Do I Train For My First 5k?

Finishing your first race is an accomplishment that you will never forget, and a 5K (3.1 miles) is a great place to start. This popular distance will let you test the waters of training and competing, and some people fall in love from there and sign up for race after race. Others decided to tackle a longer distance, and end up training for a 10K (6.2 miles), half marathon (13.1 miles), or even a full marathon (26.2 miles). Either way, you have been bitten by the running bug. But where to start? How to train? Here are a few tips to get you going.

  1. Get a pair of running shoes.

This is probably the most important point of all. For most of us, just going to the sporting goods store and picking out a pair of shoes that looks good isn’t enough. Everyone has different needs, whether it’s your arch, the way your foot moves when you hit the ground, or how much cushioning you need. The best place to go is a local running store, where they will watch you run and make the best recommendation to fit your needs. Learn more about how to find the best shoes here.

  1. Get moving.

If you aren’t exercising at all right now, start by going for a few walks each week. Gradually work up to longer walks and maybe through a few minutes of running in there. A run/walk program could be a great option if you are new to running, coming back from an injury, or just want to try something different.

  1. Find a training plan.

Once you have a baseline of fitness, look for a training plan that looks reasonable and fits in with your schedule. There are tons out there: Couch to 5K, Hal Higdon, Nike, and Runner’s World all offer different training plans.

  1. Stay motivated.

Whether that’s planning a sweet reward after you complete your race or finding a running buddy to keep you accountable, figure out what it’s going to take to get you across that finish line and set yourself up for success.

  1. Keep going!
Most of all, know that you can do it and you will do it. The mental battle is often the biggest obstacle to overcome!

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