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How to run a 5K

When you just started running or are thinking about starting it might feel impossible to run for longer distances. We all have to start somewhere. I run marathons now, but I didn’t start out that way. For me running 5K at one point felt like a very long distance to run. So let's talk about how you can run a 5K.

Now even for those who already run 5Ks, there might be some information that you can use to build on your distance and increase the miles you put in on your run.

Right now I will assume however that you are just starting out running.

When you start out you might get impatient, you either want to run more, but feel you can’t or you feel you can and actually end up doing more than you should. You need to make sure you pace yourself either way. Training for a 5K is a marathon not a sprint, and actually not a marathon either, but you know what I mean.

When you start out on your running see what is a comfortable distance for you and just start there, for the first couple of runs just do what is comfortable and go out there without overdoing it. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put any effort in, but just get comfortable running and still feel good once you are done.

After 3 or 4 runs start adding some distance to your course. Now this can be different for everybody, but try and make it long enough to be challenging, but not that long that you won’t be able to keep running till the end. Half a mile to a mile might be a good extra distance.

running shoes

Once you have run this new distance at least 3 times, see how you feel at the end of your run and how that compares to the first time you ran that distance. You should have improved, if you didn’t and are having a hard time still you put in a couple more runs at the same distance, but otherwise you start moving up again.

Add the same amount of distance as before and keep repeating this until you reach your goal of 5K.

For a lot of runners who have been running for a while, who have gotten into the routine of running it’s hard to sometimes change their routine or ad things to their routine. So when you start out running it’s important to start good habits early. One of the things that will help you tremendously as a runner is strength training. Not only will it make you stronger and help you get faster it will also help with injury prevention and can safe you a lot of pain and time on the bench in the long run.

I’ve made some videos on strength training for runners if you need some help with that, I’ll link it at the bottom of this article so you can check that out.

When you’re building up to a 5K you can run the same distances and just build it up. When you are building up to longer distances or want to work on your speed you might want to switch it up by running a shorter distance at a faster pace or doing a Fartlek run or interval run. Building up your distance will not go as fast, but you’ll be able to make bigger jumps in the distance as it will get easier to increase the distance the longer your runs get.


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