I love track and field sports and sporting events. I ran the 4×100, 4×200, 4×400 and 100 meter hurdles in high school- all short distance sprinting events. At times our coach would make the entire team run longer distances to build endurance. I hated it! I would try to figure out some way to get out of it, never worked, I had to run. It wasn’t until college that I began to enjoy running longer than one lap around a track! I began to jog with a girl friend of mine late at night. Now I would say I do enjoy longer distances, but sometimes I need an incentive to run them. Signing up for a 5K road race does the trick.
Each year the Knoxville Track Club assists several organizations and companies in hosting a road race. I actually hosted a 5K for Volunteers For Christ one year. I think I’ll just stick to running them. That was way too much work! Where ever you are living I can almost guarantee that you will be able to easily find a road race in or around your city. They are extremely prevalent. After the birth of my son, Weston, I decided that the only way I was going to get up and moving (a.k.a. exercise) was to pay for a race. So I looked for a race that was about 3 months away, paid for it, built a team of friends to run it with me so I couldn’t back out and began to train.
Training for a 5K
I’ll start by saying, I am not an expert in 5K races but I can give you some general guidelines and point you in the direction of some experts.
There are a few things to consider before starting a training program:
1) What is your current health condition? Before starting any training program please consult your doctor.
2) Have you already been running or training? If you have already been training, your workout regiment may be more accelerated. We all must access our level to know where to start. If you are looking for a 5K training program chances are you are not a trained runner and therefore you will probably need to start out slowly and work your way up. If you start out too quickly you may burn out, feel miserable and decide you hate running! Hopefully you’ll find the information you need here to train at a pace that will enable your body to adjust slowly.
3) Do you have the proper shoes? I think good running shoes is a must! Proper shoes provide great protection from injury (foot, ankle, shin, shock absorption, etc.). I am not selling this product but I do enjoy and prefer anything made from New Balance. Let’s Train!
Josh Clark posted a running guide that was perfect for me after the birth of my son called the The Couch-to-5K Running Plan. I liked it because I could train very slowly but continually challenged myself. I used his training program to get ready for my first 5K after Weston was born.
Jeff Galloway has offered a wonderful training program for the novice runner but can be used for the expert too. I used this training program to train for the Knoxville Marathon 10 K, which I didn’t end up getting to participate in.
A training program wouldn’t be complete without the advice of our local running expert Missy Kane. She has put together a training program for marathons and half marathons. Though this article is about 5K’s I do think you can benefit from reading her suggestions on running and training. I have had the privilege to do aerobics on her aerobics show and can personally endorse her as I have had a chance to interact with her on several occasions.
More Than Running
If you’ll notice on each training program there are walking intervals, resting periods, and what I really wanted to draw your attention to is circuit training! If you aren’t familiar with circuit training have no fear- I will be posting information on circuit training coming up in September!
So strap on those tennis shoes and sign up for a road race!