There are lots of resolutions you can choose from for 2017: try out a new haircut, cut back on spending, lose weight, get better grades in school.
OR you can make 2017 the year you run your first 5K. It might sound a bit intimidating, but running a 5K is totally doable and with a little bit of training beforehand, you’ll run out of that race feeling great physically, and also really accomplished!
A 5K is 3.1 miles, so it’s a great race for someone who has never raced before, and it's a good gateway to running a half-marathon! Here are four tips for training for a 5K.
1. Start with walking and jogging.
When you first think of a 5K, you might feel intimidated because you’re picturing a sea of people running and finishing the race in about 20 minutes. Sure, some runners are going to be seasoned and the race will be a cakewalk for them, but you have to remember that this is your first race and you need to practice compassion with yourself.
When you start training, don’t push yourself to run because you can actually end up hurting yourself. Instead, try walking for longer distances and adding in some jogging, but remember not to overdo it. It is going to take your body some time to get used to running or walking a longer distance.
2. Find a partner.
There’s nothing better than finding someone who can help you along your journey and offer support. Do you have a friend or family member that has been trying to also run a race or would be up for the challenge? Go to the gym together or to your local park to walk and jog, and if either of you feel like giving up, you’ll have the other to keep encouraging you.
3. Get over the “mental hurdles.”
Mental hurdles are thoughts that keep you back from accomplishing things that are important to you. You tell yourself there’s no way you’ll be able to make it through the race. These mental hurdles are much more damaging to your progress than your physical endurance. If you believe you can, you will.
4. Try an app.
There are a ton of great apps for beginner runners, like Aaptiv and Couch to 5K Runner. These apps tell you how to go from walking to jogging to running, and help you learn to cover longer distances with workouts that are designed for your level and running experience. There’s no need to be worried about “being able” to finish a 5K, and these apps prove it. You’re totally capable!
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