Thinking about training for your first 5K? Maybe you have ran 5K’s before, but are looking to improve your time. I often talk to individuals who are interested in running 5K’s, but do not believe they can run 3.1 miles. If you are one of those individuals that believe training for a 5K is beyond your abilities, then this article is for you.
5 kilometers (3.1 miles) races are exploding in popularity as ways to raise money, bring awareness to a cause or get a group of friends together. You will be hard pressed to not find a local 5K just about every weekend especially this time of year. Based on figures from the Running USA Road Running Information Center, participation in 5K’s increased 72 percent from 2008 to 2012.
Why the increase in popularity? Just about anyone, if they train enough, can run or walk a 5K, even young children and adults who aren’t in the best shape. You don’t have to be an Olympian to run a 5K! Color runs, zombie dashes, trail runs, ugly Christmas sweaters, and many other non-traditional themed runs are attracting a niche market of people who want to be active, but not competitive. Some race directors, including myself, are pushing their runs to be more about the entertainment and socialization rather than competition.
A 5K is the perfect distance for both beginning runners and veterans. New runners can pride themselves on finishing a 5K run/walk and more advanced runners can use the distance to set a new personal best.
But how do you actually train for a 5K? There are numerous training plans available in books, magazines, and on the internet. So, instead of me laying out a training plan for you to follow, I am going to provide you with a list of plans that I believe will work for you. These essential workouts will help you run strong at your next race and set a new personal best.
Runner’s World has multiple 5K training plans for beginner, intermediate, and advanced runners.
Active Running offers multiple 5K training tips and strength conditioning routines for both seasoned and beginning runners.
The Couch to 5K mobile application training plan has been very popular. The Couch to 5K app is how it sounds. It is designed for beginners to go from the couch to running their first 5K.
RunKeeper is another mobile application designed to help you bring fitness into your lifestyle becoming healthier and more fit. Several different training plans are offered through RunKeeper including 5K training.
Women’s Running is another venue for 5K training plans. Whether you’re gearing up for your first 5K, you best 5K, or your fastest 5K ever, they have the perfect plan for you.
Doesn’t matter which of the many plans available that you choose, what’s important is successfully accomplishing your goals. The Run To Succeed commitment is for you to be healthy, fit, and energetic so that you can enjoy life to the fullest and have the energy to pursue all of your ambitions.
Train hard and hope to see you at a 5K race soon!