The weather is getting warmer, which means more people will be heading outside to get a taste of warm sunshine! This means more frisbee games in the park, trips to the beach, and runs around the neighborhood. Why not join this outdoor pack and sign up for a 5k? Never done one before? No worries! Get yourself into 5k shape with this generic training guide suitable for even the most novice runner.
You’ll find dozens of training guides for 5Ks all over the internet. Most of them will have different regimens such as 3 versus 5 days of training per week or 6-7 week plans, but the basic principle is as follows:
Train for Summer 5K: Build Up Slowly
Regardless of your goal, whether it is to hit 3.1 miles under a certain time or to simply make it to the finish line, the best way to achieve it is to build up slowly and at a pace most comfortable for you. Many programs recommend focusing on a schedule one week and increasing the difficulty the next. Here are different examples of how you can build up your endurance each week:
- Set Time/Interval: In this training method, set a time for your runs (e.g., 20min, 30mins). Then within every minute, switch from running to walking (e.g., run for 15 seconds, walk for 45 seconds) and repeat every minute until you’ve hit the end of your running time. Continue this for the rest of the week and gradually increase the running interval (e.g., 15s to 20s) and decrease the walking interval (e.g., 45s to 40s) each week.
- Increase Running Time or Distance: For your first week, start with a time or distance that you can complete with moderate difficulty (e.g., 15min run or 1 mile run). Each week, increase the amount of time you spend running or the distance you run. Keep it consistent each week and increase at comfortable increments whether it is by 5 minutes or by .5 miles.Some programs even combine time and distance by focusing on one during the primary training days and performing the other on a weekend. For example, run 20min Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and then run 2 miles on Sunday OR run 2 miles during the week and then for 20min on Sunday.
There’s no set way to train for a 5k. Simply commit to a training program that works for you and build it up week by week until you reach or even go beyond your goal!
Train for Summer 5K: Train Responsibly and Safely!
- Make sure to included stretching, warm-ups, and cool-downs every time you train. Don’t want to risk injuries!
- Include rest days in between your training days to allow your body to heal from the increasing difficulty.
- Keep your body hydrated!
- Most of all have fun! 5k’s are great activities to do with your family and friends. Training with a partner is also a great way to keep up with your training schedule and push each other!
So go ahead and sign up for that 5k because before you know it, you’ll be crossing that finish line like a breeze!