Whether you have just started running or are a regular runner, finishing your first 5k is a great achievement. A 5-kilometer run can be easy to achieve with the right training and mindset. Even if you have no experience with running, you can prepare with just a few months of training.
Mortimer Curran has been a runner most of his life and has since gone on to compete in longer and more challenging courses including Tough Mudders, Spartan Races, and obstacle course races.
Below, he has compiled a list of tips for runners in their beginning stages. Running a 5K is a great way to start your running career and a good early goal to set that offers some challenge without being too overwhelming.
Running Tips for Beginners
Invest in some good running shoes. The pair should be compatible with your stride type and foot arch. You can often get measurements, advice and recommendations from a professional at an athletic store or shoe store. You should also consider purchasing socks that do not wear and tear over time. They should not obtain moisture easily. This is to avoid blisters on your feet. Throughout his running career Mortimer Curran has found comfort to be of the highest importance.
Make sure to do warm-up exercises and dynamic stretches before you run. This will increase blood flow in your body and will enable you to actively stretch out your muscles. You can lie on your back, keep your heels on the floor, bend your knees at an angle, and pull your toes towards your shins. You should raise your hips gently so that they will be in line with your shoulders. Keep this in place for about three seconds. Aside from this glute bridge exercise, you can also do lateral lunges, and a lot more warm-ups before running. These warm-up exercises are crucial for preventing injury and reducing soreness.
If you are very new and uncomfortable with running, start with walking long distances. After walking about a kilometer, have intervals of “burst running”. You can continue this until you can run at full distances without walking. Start gradually and you won’t even notice that you already covered 4 miles. Don’t worry about how fast you are running. It will gradually overtime. Run at your own comfortable pace but still try to push yourself every now and then.
Perseverance is key. You might have bad days where you just want to lie on the couch and watch TV. Motivate yourself to go for a 10-minute walk. You’ll discover that once you start, it is much easier to keep going. Be goal-oriented. All the muscle pain that you feel today will turn into strength and lead to an exhilarating feeling once you finish your first 5K goal. Make sure that you have a reason why you started training for the 5k. The weather is not always sunny, you might have bad runs. Remind yourself that each day is different. Find a community or running club where members can support you and your goals. The feeling of achievement can be incomparable when you know that you overcame hardships in getting it.
Try other non-running activities such as swimming, hiking, and biking. They can improve your strength and endurance as well. It will help you balance your muscles, and reduce the chances of injury. Your weaker muscles that are not used in running are also improved. Most important of all, get some rest. Get the needed rest to heal your muscles, but then get right back out on the track!
Once you’ve conquered the 5k, you may also want to push your body even further with your first obstacle course racing event!