Getting to the 5K starting line

Training for a 5K race is a great goal. Keep in mind that if it’s been a while since you’ve ran or conditioned, it can take some time to prepare. As a long-time runner and former collegiate runner, I find the best way to improve endurance and running ability is to plan for sensible progression each day. Pushing too hard, too fast or improper training can lead to poor results, overtraining and injuries. Here are a few helpful tips to get moving in the right direction:

Minimize unwanted movement: Keep elbows bent and at your side. Limit arms from swinging across the body. Try not to bounce up and down or over-stride. Land mid-foot, push off with your toes and drive your knee as you move through the stride.

Be consistent: When preparing for a 5K, the amount of training is important to improve endurance so being consistent is vital to success. Begin each training day with an aerobic warm-up such as a walk or light jog for three to five minutes. This loosens up muscles in preparation for the higher intensity exercise of running.    

Improve endurance: During training, progressively increase the length of time you run and the distance you cover. Start with short runs until you feel slightly fatigued followed by rest periods. Gradually increase the amount of running time and decrease recovery time. After a few weeks, begin using distance instead of time to measure intervals while working toward a goal of 3.1 miles.

Race day readiness: In preparation for running a 5K, be sure to take two days off from training to recover and make sure to drink plenty of water.

If you’re looking for a race, support generosity in your local community at the live life. Nspired Run Saturday, Sept. 6 in Charlotte, Mich.  Register at www.livelifeinspired.org. 

Thomas Sobleskey is a MOVE fitness instructor at AL!VE and can be reached at tsobleskey@hgbhealth.com or 517-543-9575.