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You Can Run Your First 5k!

Overcome your fears and achieve your goals: Here is how.

By: Angela Ciroalo

Have you ever dreamed of running in a 5k race but never thought you could actually do it.

Instead millions of doubts, questions and concerns flashed through your mind; How would you prepare for it? Are you actually capable of completing it? Where would you even start? Could you get injured? Is it even worth it?

So many questions run through your mind, causing you to doubt your abilities and pass the idea off as a brief moment of excitement.

Don’t let your dreams stop here. Give your dream a chance. Challenge yourself and let your body show you what it is capable of!

You can do anything if you put your mind to it and you CAN finish a 5k race!

Think back to how you felt when the idea first ran through your mind. You saw yourself running in the race, crossing the finish line, and feeling absolutely fantastic. This does not have to be a fantasy. Make your dream a reality. Follow the tricks, tips, advice and training plan provided in this article.

Women

Step 1: Change your mindset.

A 5k race is achievable for everyone and anyone.

You can, and you will, complete your first 5k race.

Now that you have read that sentence, repeat it, think it, and believe it. Tell your friends. Tell your family. The more you say, the more you will believe it.

At times when your beliefs run low, use visualization and envision yourself crossing the finish line.

When times are tough and you don’t feel like exercising in preparation for the race remind yourself of your goal and how are going to feel once you achieve it!

Michael Thorne Race

Step 2: Choose Your Race

Select the race that you plan to complete.

Use local race calendars to find a race that is close by, in a convenient location and is runner/walker friendly.

Choose a race that is within the next three months to prevent any relapse or a change in mindset.

Ensure that you, your family and your friends are not busy that day.

Once the race is selected – sign up! Don’t put it off and forget about it.

Angela_Firecracker 5Mile_2016

Step 3: Begin working toward your goal.

In order to prepare for the race start your training by walking.

Walk three to five days per week for a total of 20-30 minutes. Walking will create your baseline fitness level, which you will improve upon as you are training.

Once you feel comfortable walking several times per week for a few weeks, begin to implement jogging into your walk.

Jog for several seconds, followed by walking for a few minutes.

Increase the amount of time you jog during each workout until you are able to jog for a full 20 minutes or more.

Follow the 8-week long training plan provided below. The plan will guide a new runner to walk/jog their first 5k race!

You Can Run Your First 5k
8-Week Training Plan

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Wk. 1 Walk 15 min. Stretch Walk/Jog 15 min. Stretch Walk 15 min. Stretch  Walk/Jog  20 min.
Wk. 2 Walk 15 min. Stretch Walk/Jog  20 min. Stretch Walk 20 min. Stretch Walk/Jog 25 min.
Wk. 3 Walk 17 min. Stretch Walk/Jog  25 min. Stretch Walk 23 min. Stretch Walk/Jog 30 min.
Wk. 4 Walk 17 min. Stretch Walk/Jog  25 min. Stretch Walk 25 min. Stretch Walk/Jog 30 min.
Wk. 5 Walk 20  min. Stretch Walk/Jog  30 min. Stretch  Jog 5-10 Walk 5-10 Stretch Jog 10 Walk 20
Wk. 6 Walk/Jog 20 min. Stretch Walk 10, Jog 10, Walk 10 Stretch Jog 15
Walk 15
Stretch Jog 18  Walk 15
Wk. 7 Walk/Jog25 Stretch Walk 8, Jog 15, Walk 7 Stretch Jog 20  Walk 10 Stretch Jog 22  Walk 10
Wk. 8 Walk/Jog 20 Stretch Walk 5, Jog 15, Walk 5 Stretch Jog/Walk 20 min. Stretch 5k Race! 

Step 4: Look and Feel the Part

In an effort to feel fully prepared for the race it is important to feel as though you “fit in” with other runners.

Try stopping in to a running specialty store and check out the different styles of shorts, tops and shoes that were created for runners.

The clothing and specialty outfits are not essential. They were created for comfort, support and injury prevention.

Pick out an outfit that makes you feel comfortable running.

Practice your run in this outfit a few times, then save it to wear during your big day. A comfortable running outfit will ensure confidence, ease and prevention of injury on race day

Belmar 5Mile_July 2016_Angela

Step 5: Train Appropriately.

Warm Up: Before each workout complete a 10 to 15 minute warm up. The warm up is crucial for preventing injury and ensuring a great workout.

Run or walk at a speed that allows you to maintain a conversation. You should not feel out of breath or tired at this point.

The Workout: Follow you training plan and run and/or walk for 10 to 30 minutes three to four times per week leading up to the race.

Cool Down: Once your workout is completed the body should be adequately cooled down before fully stopping. Begin slowing your speed down, allowing the heart rate to return to resting levels.

Walk or run at a conversational pace for five to ten minutes.

Follow your cool down with stretching. Hold your stretches for 10 – 15 seconds to create flexibility and prevent injury.

ST Pl
Female runner exercising

Step 6: Follow these great tips to motivate you in preparation for your first 5k race!

–          Find a running partner buddy to train with, run the race with, or hold you accountable.

–          Set a goal finishing time.

–          Create a vision board to place on your wall reminding you of your goal.

–          Lay out your running clothes the night before a workout.

–          Share the good news. Tell friends and family that you will be participating. Invite them to cheer you on.

–          Keep a training journal to monitor the progress you are making.

–          Look up the race map to fully prepare you for the event.

–          Don’t beat yourself up if you miss or skip a workout.

–          Celebrate each accomplishment along the way.

–          Enjoy the journey and have fun!

Love running

 

 

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Top 10 Tips for New Runners

By: Angela  Ciroalo

Learn to fall in love with running this autumn with these 10 easy-to-follow tips for runners just starting out.

  1. Learn to walk before you can run

There is no reason to begin your running journey by sprinting.

Running is all about pacing yourself. Learn this early on.

Begin your first run by walking with short bursts of jogging.

If you feel comfortable with this, jog at a very low speed.

As you begin to feel more comfortable running, begin to increase your speed or distance, depending on your goals.

Ease into your new routine. Allow your body to acclimate to this new activity.

Enjoy the sights and sounds around you while running. Try not to focus on the distance or time remaining. Take notice of all that you are able to see and experience along the way.

Run Walk
 Photo taken from Active.com 

  1. Warm up and cool down

Warming your body up before a run will improve performance and prevent injury.

Start your workouts with a simple warm up such as jumping jacks, a light jog, marching in place; whatever you feel most comfortable doing for five to ten minutes before a run.

Once you have finished your workout, take five to ten minutes to cool down at a slow pace.

A cool down will allow the body to readjust after your activity. All cool downs should also be followed by ten minutes of stretching. If you want to prevent injuries, stretch.

Your muscles will thank you.

Warm Up

Photo taken from newmarketsoccerclub.com.au

Runner stretches
Photo taken from pixgood.com

  1. Set a Goal

Whether your goal is weight loss, better overall health, finishing a race in a certain amount of time, or running a specific distance – it is important to select a goal.

When times are tough and you feel like giving up, your goal will remind you why you started.

It will also give you’re the extra push you need to try harder when you feel as though you have given your all.

  1. Perfect your Form

The form of a runner is critical in preventing injuries and improving performance.

Form is your body placement during a run.

New runners should get in the habit of running with optimal form early on.

To improve your form, take notice of your posture, head placement, torso movements, arm swings, foot strike and stride length during a run.

Is your back straight? Are your arms pumping to fast? Are you over striding your steps? Are you looking down instead of up?

runner form

  1. Create Accountability

Once your goal is set, share it with friends, family and social media.

The more people you tell about your goal, the more people that will hold you accountable for achieving it.

It feels great to share your progress along the way and feel the support of those around you.

Another great form of accountability is to recruit a running partner. Someone who will train with you and support you along the way.

Training partners are invaluable when just starting out.

  1. Rest and recover

The muscles need time to recover, especially when beginning a new routine.

Days off from exercise are very important in preventing an overuse injury.

If taking a full day off is very difficult for you, try cross training or yoga.

This way you are able to rest the muscles used during a run while still working out your body.

toga

  1. Strengthen your whole body

Running should not be your only activity.

Exercise should be balanced throughout the body.

If you plan on running three days out of the week, take one to two days to strength train.

Balance lower body workouts with upper body.

Cross training is another great way to create strength throughout the body, rather than just in your legs.

Try implementing Pilates, biking and/or swimming to recruit strength from the whole body.

lift

  1. Improve eating habits

Many new runners get confused about how much to eat, when to eat, and how often.

The amount you eat should depend on the way you feel.

Listen to your body. If you feel hungry, eat. If you feel full, don’t.

The real focus should be on implementing natural, whole food.

Begin including whole grains, vegetables, fruits and healthy fats into your diet, rather than just eating larger portions.

My Plate

Composition of various exotic fruits isolated on white background

  1. Choose a training plan

Once you have chosen your goal, select a realistic training plan that you allow you to achieve it without getting side tracked.

Select the date or month that you would like your goal achieved by.

Mark down the amount of weeks you have to get there.

And choose the distances and speeds that you will complete each week until then.

Make sure your training plan is realistic and accommodating to your fitness level and available training time.

5k plan
Photo taken from www.makingthymeforhealth.com

  1. Get the appropriate gear

Many people will lace up their old sneakers and throw on an old t-shirt for their first run.

While this is great when just getting started, if you plan to continue running it is best to pick up a supportive pair of running shoes and some comfortable running gear.

Comfortable shirts and shorts that do not stick to your body or cause chafing make all the difference. They also improve confidence.

When picking up a dri-fit running shirt, be sure to stop in the shoe section.

According to the September 2015 issue of Runners’ World magazine our feet absorb two to four times our body weight with each step we take.

The more supportive your shoes are, the more impact your shoes absorb, rather than your ankles, knees and hips.

Stop by a local running store and have your shoes fitted.

Author Sarah Condor once said, “Remember, the feeling you get from a good run is far better than the feeling you get from sitting around wishing you were running.”

So stop thinking about running, get out there and start doing it.

Start with a jog around your block, a jog to the park, or even a walk down the street.

Your first step is the most important.

PierHouse 5k Race Pier House 5k

(Above, myself with friends during a recent 5k race.)
I had a wonderful time!
Running alongside other people was really encouraging. I ran much faster than I expected. I was hoping to finish in 25 minutes, running eight minute miles. Surprisingly, I was able to finish in 22:31, running an average of 7:15 minute miles.

If you are interested in running, I strongly urge you to participate in a 5k race.
Races are A LOT of fun. They leave you with such a running high that you cannot wait to get out there and run some more.

If there is any topic that you feel was not covered in the, “Top 10 Tips for New Runners” article, please notify me and I would be happy to include the information.

Wishing you love, joy and blessings!
Get outside and RUN today. 

Best,

Angela Joy

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