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20 July, 2014 0 comments

Can I Run 5K?


Can I run 5k?

Sounds daunting doesn’t it? But if you’re reading this then you may have already considered doing it or wondered if it is at all possible, well the short answer is yes! Yes, running a 5K race is definitely a reasonable goal for beginner runners and there are lots of great reasons to run a race. Its suggested by Runners Worlds that even someone who is generally inactive (assuming he or she has been cleared to run by a doctor) can be ready to run or run/walk a 5K with three months of training.

Going for a run is one thing but many runners have fears about running races and it's normal to feel anxiety about committing to train for and run a race. It then becomes an expectation, a competition and a challenge to which you will be graded against others. Encouraging new runners to train for a short distance race such as 5K is appealing because having a race as your goal is great motivation to continue running. And the rush you feel when you cross that finish line will make you want to stick with it. Following a training schedule will help you safely prepare for the race and keep you on track. As you continue with the training, your fitness and your running confidence will improve and you'll feel more prepared for race day.

For the uninitiated, training for a race seems incredibly daunting. How does a person build up the kind of endurance and fortitude necessary to accomplish such a daunting task? Truthfully, though, training for a relatively short race like a 5K isn't as difficult as you'd think. Countless others have done it before, and its advice from other that will help get you through when you feel like you just can't take another step.

The 5K is the run where runners come to meet. It's the race where real distance runners drop down, taking a break from the usual slogs of 15Ks, marathons, and 24-hour relays to snack on an event that seems nothing more than a sustained sprint. But don’t let that put you off it’s also the place where middle-distance runners go up, figuring to grit their teeth and hang for three miles. What 5k has got is something for everyone, running a 5K is an excellent goal for new runners. You'll get lots of motivation, as well as enjoyment, from participating in a race, and 5K (3.1 miles) is the perfect distance for first-timers. Even if you're a couch potato, you can be ready for a 5K in a couple of months. Taking up running can seem like a scary idea, even more so if you’re low on confidence or feel out of shape and unfit. But, did you know, British Heart Foundation confirm that regular running can help reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke, boost your mood and keep your weight under control.


Talking of couch potatoes, if this seems to be the lifestyle you have noticed needed a change there is a plan that could suit you. The Couch to 5K plan is designed to get you off the couch and gradually work you up to running 5K or for half an hour, in just nine weeks. But what on earth is Couch to 5k? Couch to 5K is a British initiative running plan developed to help absolute beginners get into running. The beginners' running plan was developed by a novice runner, Josh Clark, who wanted to help his “fifty-something” mum get off the couch and start running too. The plan involves three runs per week, with a day of rest in between, with a different schedule for each of the nine weeks. NHS Choices has developed its own set of Couch to 5K podcasts to help you get into running. The podcasts feature a narrator who guides you through the session, explaining when you need to run and when it’s time to walk.

The programme is designed for beginners to gradually build up their running ability to be able to run 5K without stopping. The pace of the nine-week running plan has been tried and tested by thousands of new runners, so you can trust the programme. You can, however, repeat any one of the weeks until you feel physically ready to move on to the next podcast. Structure is important for motivation, so try to allocate specific days in the week for your runs and stick to them. NHS choices suggest rest days are critical. A rest day in between each run will reduce your chance of injury and will also make you a stronger, better runner. Resting allows your joints to recover from what is a high-impact exercise and your running muscles to repair and strengthen.

Finally, your 5k day arrives. It may well be a race, it may well just be your goal to run 5K at this time. Either you would step up to the mark injury free, you start and you immediately fall into a pace that matches the 5K effort you’ve been practicing for weeks. Your stride feels effortless as we blend aerobic endurance with speed and strength gained from the weeks of training and practice prior to this point. You will naturally make adjustments in effort level based upon feedback from your body, a method you have rehearsed and expected during all those repetitions on the roads. When finally the finish banner comes into view or the distance is up on your watch you rely on your fast-twitch muscles to carry you over the final piece.

The hope is that there is no part of the race for which you’re not prepared for, there are no surprises awaiting you along the way.  The idea is that 5k is no longer a test it’s more of a show and tell and a celebration of how far you have come. Best of all, the 5k itself now adds to your overall fitness. Looking forward to building on improving the 5k performance, increase speed, decrease time and complete it injury free. Moreover rather than simply adding miles to your training logs, you have emerged as a better overall runner: fitter, faster, and more efficient.



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