With the weather getting nicer, we’re seeing more and more 5K, 10K, and other fun races and organized runs happening all around our community. If you’re like me and never have been a runner but have always wanted to be able to just step outside and go for a run, it’s intimidating to know where to start. I recently started actively working towards being able to run a 5K while getting a good time and not feeling like my legs are going to collapse underneath me. I did research beforehand to see what training plans and tools were available to me and just went for it.
Here are some tips and ideas on how I’ve transitioned from barely being able to run a mile, to now running a 5K no problem.
- Invest in good running shoes. We know, they’re expensive, but having good foot support is very important for long distance running to avoid injuries.
- Start slow and build up to a better time. It’s going to take practice to get a good time on your run, so go in knowing that you may be clocking in longer mile times for a while.
- Join a running club (virtual or in person)! These are great for meeting new people, but also running with a group of people will challenge you and push you to work harder each time.
- Rest days are just as important as the days you are running. Your body needs to recover, similar to your weight training days off. Don’t skimp on these!
- Make a playlist or listen to podcasts that will keep you motivated and maybe slightly distracted during your run if you find that it’s dragging a bit. Check out our latest blog post on our favorite summer workout tunes for inspiration!
- Use an app to track your time and distance. We gathered some of the top fitness apps and compared them in a blog post recently. Check it out and download one of these run-tracking apps to help you challenge yourself the next time you get out there.
- Just like your speed and time will take practice to get better, the distance you cover will as well. Build up to longer distance runs by slowly increasing the mileage of your runs. There are lots of good running plans online that will help you do this.
- Mix in some cross training and weight training. Building muscles will ultimately help with your running ability. There are lots of exercises that are ideal for runners.
- Set small goals and build from there. Setting a lofty goal often leads to people getting frustrated that they’re not achieving it or they decide to give up on working towards that goal entirely. Start small and set realistic goals.
- Foam rolling your legs will be painful, but so necessary. Check out our blog post on foam rolling for muscle soreness and recovery to find out more about this exercise and why it's so important.