Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Advice for Training for a 5 K Marathon

Training for a 5K race is a great way to get an exercise program underway. Knowing that race day is impending is an excellent motivator for some people. If exercise has been more of a wishful thought than something you actually see through then you need some advice on training for a 5K. By the time you reach the day of the 5K you will have developed exercise habits that you can follow long after the run and stay in shape in the process.

The doctors at WebMd suggest a three-month training window in order to be fully prepared both physically and mentally. They also suggest that you start with a 1k run in order to determine how you feel at the end. If you are energized then you are probably ready to go forward. If you are in pain and exhausted you should probably keep training before moving to the 5K.
Start slow with training. Beginners should start with ten or fifteen minute runs two days a week with a day of rest in between. Time should be increased slowly, about three minutes per increment and only if you are not gasping for breath at the end of the run.

Add cross training on one of the off days. Swimming and biking are excellent cross training choices. You should not cross train for more than one hour on the days you choose.
Slowly increase the amount of time you are running until you are able to run for 30 minutes without huffing and puffing. This should not happen rapidly. It may take up to 15 weeks to reach the point that 30 minutes is not exhausting. At this point, you should be able to complete your 5K or 3.2 miles in about half an hour. If you choose to walk, it can take up to an hour.

Set your goals and use this advice for training for a 5K. Your body will thank you for it and your mirror will too when you see the results that constant exercise yields. Get those running shoes out and get moving to complete your goal.


Photo: Graeme Weatherston

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