So you’ve decided to run your first 5k? Training for a race can be the best form of motivation. A new routine can push you out of your comfort zone, help you realize new goals and burn off those stubborn unwanted pounds. There are a lot of challenges that come with the task. Here are a few tips to help you get ready to run and be in the best condition possible on race day.
Dress the part.
Good gear can really make a difference on race day. Do some research so you can find the best pair of shoes for your feet! Head over to your local sporting goods or running store and get fitted by a professional. They’ll be able to help you find the best shoe for your goals and stride. When it comes to clothes get something that is easy to move in and that wicks away sweat. Train in your new gear before the big day so you’ll be comfortable.
Find a race.
Signing up for a 5k gives you a tangible goal and a deadline for your training. So mark your calendar so you’ll have a date in mind as you train. Pick a race that gives your body enough time to adjust to your new regimen, the longer you have to train, the better. Give yourself a couple of months, and as they weeks fly by you’ll be more and more prepared to hit the course.
Run the route before the big day.
If you can manage it, find some time to run the route of your race before the big day. It’ll help you get familiar with the areas where you might have trouble so you can implement the most challenging elements into your training routine. Being familiar with the route will also ensure that you don’t get confused on where to go on the day of the race.
Stick to a schedule.
Once you’ve signed up for your race you need to create a schedule that’s going to get you ready to run! C25k is a great app that helps beginners get off the couch and into a great routine. There are a number of different programs out there that you can try that are designed to suit your needs and fit your schedule. Once you find a program stick to it!
You’re not going to turn into a star athlete overnight. Unless you’ve already been running for quite some time, your going to have some trouble getting used to your new routine. Listen to your body and don’t push too hard, even if you feel like you can manage it. Getting outside and hitting the trail regularly should be your top priority, so try not to burn out.
Getting the proper nutrients will help propel you to the front of any race. Eating the best fruits and vegetables will fuel your body and give you the energy you need to succeed. Foods with a low glycemic index, like whole grains and legumes, will keep your glucose levels steady so you can stay consistent throughout your runs.
Running with relaxed muscles can be a recipe for disaster. Before you hit the road be sure to warm up your body so you don’t shock your body into injury. Implement stretches into your routine and try to prepare yourself before every run. Check out our blog for a number of great stretches!
Strong legs make running a whole lot easier. Doing strength training for your legs means a lower risk of injury and more mobility because your muscle will be more capable of using oxygen. As you get stronger less stress will be placed on your joints as you run because your muscles will be able to handle more of your weight. Hit the gym or build a program at home that allows you to train your legs for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Phone a friend.
It’s easier to build a new hobby if you have a support system. Find a friend or a running group that can help you stay on track. Having a community or friend to lean on when training gets tough will help you stay motivated and focused on your goal.
Giving your body time to recover can make a huge difference. Running everyday doesn’t give your muscles a chance to rest and rebuild after a tough workout. Training too much can lead to injury, stress and a loss in motivation on your part. Give yourself some time to rest and reflect in between each run so you’ll be ready to hit the pavement even harder next time.