Training Tips For Your First 5k

Nick Davies

Running can be an intimidating thing to approach. So signing up for your first 5k run can seem like a pretty daunting, yet exciting goal. For those who aren’t aware a 5K is 5 kilometers (or 3.1 miles). It is a popular distance for first time and casual runners to chose to get into shape and have some fun doing so.

Training For Your First 5K - Training Tips

By learning the basics and starting slowly anyone can run a 5K. Even if you don’t consider yourself a runner (yet), with proper training you will be crossing that finish line in no time. 🏁

Set Your Goal

There are so many 5K races out there to sign up for, when it comes to choosing I recommend looking for the one with the best freebies! It feels good to get that free shirt and goodie bag at the end to commemorate your first victory.

By signing up for a race you lock yourself into a commitment. Having a goal in place will give your training purpose so you are less likely to skip out. Skipping out or your training would make race day a much more difficult task, so keep that in mind when you don’t feel like running for motivation.

Gear Up 😎

Start off on the right foot and get yourself some proper running gear. If nothing else a well fitted pair of running shoes can make training and race day a whole lot better. Head to your local running shoe store for help getting fitted properly.

There are tons of other running accessories to pick up as well if you are in the market. Things like moisture wicking socks (We Just Started Carrying Some! - Feetures Socks), sport watches, running clothing and more can help prepare you for any run. Dress for success as they say!

Feetures Socks - From

Train Properly

When you are just beginning to run or getting back to it, it is important to start at a slow pace. Most people quit early because they get out there and go too hard, ruining the experience. You want to start with a warm-up walk for 5 minutes or so prepping your body. Then try beginning with 30 seconds to one minute of running at a time. Then follow it with 1 to 3 minutes of power walking or until you catch your breath. Build yourself up adding a little more running to the mix as you improve. Make your goal to go farther, not harder.

If you would like some guidance as you are getting back into running try the app Couch to 5K (Available on Android & IPhone). This app features all sorts of goodies to help you in your training!

App Features:

  • Track your calories and distance for each workout! 
  • Exclusive partners with MyFitnessPal!
  • Now compatible with Google Fit (Pro version and for users running Android 4.0 and above)!
  • Listen to your own favorite music and playlists while you train
  • Compatible with Spotify, Pandora, and other music apps
  • Audio coach and alerts
  • Compatible with Nike+ GPS and other pedometers
  • Integrated with Facebook and Twitter communities. Meet other runners!
  • The only C25K app that works accurately while your device is locked!

Don’t make the mistake of pushing yourself everyday either, your body needs time to recover. Try running 3 days a week with some alternative cross-training activities in between such as swimming, cycling, or yoga.

Practice Yoga on Recovery Days

Train Comfortably

The key to successful running is knowing your comfort zone. A great way to dial this in is by taking the “Talk Test”. If you are able to talk while you run, then you are at the right pace. If you are gasping for air and having a hard time speaking than you are going to hard. By running hard the fun is sucked right out and becomes exhausting, difficult work that is bound to lead to injury.

The secret to having a good run is finishing thinking you could have gone farther. By running at your own pace you will have a lot more fun and accelerate your running career much faster.

Take Time to Rest

Pay attention to your body. Rest is just as important as training days. Your body actually grows stronger during your resting periods. Many people make the mistake of over-training which ends up injuring you. If you begin feeling a few aches and pains take an extra day to rest to allow yourself to fully recover. Pushing too far and ending up with an injury will only put you out longer.

Recovery isn’t just about taking breaks either, aim for 8 hours of sleep each night and eat a well balanced diet. Not only will this keep you energized for your training but help your recovery be more effective as well.

Practice & Patience

In time your walks will become walk / runs and in time those will become runs. Practice and patience is essential to training for your first 5k. By building yourself up properly you will lay the foundation for excelling far beyond just 5k’s and in no time you will be running far past any limits you once thought you had. Happy running, cheers! 😁

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