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6 Weeks Running Training Program: Preparing for your First 5K race

It’s now getting to that time of year again when people are considering to sign up for local and national races/running events. Most beginners take the plunge into running by running at local events to raise awareness and or money for charities. It’s never advisable to go into any race professional or fun without being properly equipped and trained.

If you want to shed a few pounds by participating in a 5k run or race it can give you the perfect opportunity to change your focus and lifestyle. By having a goal to achieve you are motivating yourself for success and with a 5k run you know you will have to be in shape to complete it. Whatever your reasons for taking up a new challenge, it’s important to first obtain the correct equipment for the event.

Clothes & Equipment

Whether you’re a beginner or professional the need to wear and have the right equipment is as vital as ever to avoid injury and to increase protection to vulnerable areas of your body.  The best place to start is the clothes you wear, it’s important to wear clothes that are comfortable and light weight. By having these, you will be able to run without getting over-heated or have any rubbing/chafing. If you cannot afford new and fashionable running clothes consider wearing a light weight top and tracksuit bottoms.

Take into consideration your outfit when you find out the dates of your first 5k run, your clothes should reflect the predicted weather on the day of the run. Never wear tracksuit bottoms or heavy clothing on a warm day as once you warm up, your extra body heat will make it feel about 15 to 20 degrees warmer.

A good set of trainers are essential when you are starting a running program. Your feet are going to absorb the most pounding so it’s important that you find the right pair of shoes to suit your shape, size and length.  It’s best to avoid running in old trainers, but it’s advisable to wear shoes that you have broken into beforehand. If you are considering buying new running shoes its best to identify your foot type and buy shoes that are tailored to your type, this will help your feet from becoming moist or blistered during the training process. Considering purchasing a pair of socks, it’s advisable to avoid wearing cotton, try a synthetic blended pair of socks, they will help you avoid blisters and soars as well as keeping your feet cool.

Training Program

When you are equipped and ready, it’s important that you introduce yourself into running very slowing. A great way of doing this is to create a running diary, this will help you keep track of your spare time, how long you have to exercise and for how long. The keeping of a diary is a simple way of reminding yourself on your goal of completing a 5K in a respectable time. In most circumstances it’s advised to start training at the earliest opportunity, however if you only have 6 weeks, you can achieve your goal through a well-constructed program.  Here is an example of a program for a beginner:

First Week
•    Mon Rest
•    Tue Run 1 min, walk 1 min. Repeat 10 times
•    Wed Rest
•    Thu Run 2 mins, walk 4 mins. Repeat 5 times
•    Fri Rest
•    Sat Rest
•    Sun Run 2 mins, walk 4 mins. Repeat 5 times
Second Week
•    Mon Rest
•    Tue Run 3 mins, walk 3 mins. Repeat 4 times
•    Wed Rest
•    Thu Run 3 mins, walk 3 mins. Repeat 4 times
•    Fri Rest
•    Sat Rest
•    Sun Run 5 mins, walk 3 mins. Repeat 3 times
Third Week
•    Mon Rest
•    Tue Run 7 mins, walk 2 mins. Repeat 3 times
•    Wed Rest
•    Thu Run 8 mins, walk 2 mins. Repeat 3 times
•    Fri Rest
•    Sat Rest
•    Sun Run 8 mins, walk 2 mins. Repeat 3 times
Fourth Week
•    Mon Rest
•    Tue Run 8 mins, walk 2 mins. Repeat 3 times
•    Wed Rest
•    Thu Run 10 mins, walk 2 mins. Repeat twice then run for 5 mins
•    Fri Rest
•    Sat Rest
•    Sun Run 8 mins, walk 2 mins. Repeat 3 times
Fifth Week
•    Mon Rest
•    Tue Run 9 mins, walk 1 min. Repeat 3 times
•    Wed Rest
•    Thu Run 12 mins, walk 2 mins. Repeat twice then run for 5 mins
•    Fri Rest
•    Sat Rest
•    Sun Run 8 mins, walk 2 mins. Repeat 3 times
Sixth Week
•    Mon Rest
•    Tue Run 15 mins, walk 1 min. Repeat twice
•    Wed Rest
•    Thu Run 8 mins, walk 2 mins. Repeat 3 times
•    Fri Rest
•    Sat Rest
•    Sun 5K Race!

If you follow this beginner training program you should find that you can run for at least 20 minutes before you need a break, but whatever your plan is it’s important to start the race slowly. You don’t want to get half way around the track and have to stop for several breaks. Not everyone has the time to get out the house for a run so consider acquiring any gym equipment that may aid in the training program. 

Running Aids

Just remember that if you decide to follow the training guide your diet should also reflect your effort. You should always stay hydrated throughout exercise and to help your efforts consider introducing running aids. Whilst running, consider selecting a running aid to help you focus, everyone is different when it comes to running aids so try some motivational aids, here are a few examples:

•    Music (IPod)
•    Bottle of water
•    Fruit
•    Knee/elbow support
•    Watch/timer
•    Head band

I hope that this preparation advice and running training program helps you to achieve your goal of completing a 5K run/race, everyone is different so don’t be afraid to train more or less depending on your ability. Remember that there are even more ways to train so if this one does not work for you take a look online and you may find one that best suits your ability.



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