How To Prepare To Train For A 5K

This page is all about how to prepare to train for a 5k run. So what I’ll cover is the bits you need to think about before you actually start your training.

If you’ve made a decision that you’d like to run a 5k, there a few things you need to consider first…

Is running going to be right for you?

We ‘re only talking about a 3 mile run here, so training for it isn’t going to take over your life, but you are going to have to commit some time to it.

As a beginner you’re going to need to do a mixture of exercise which all help to improve your stamina and fitness levels. So if you’re inactive at the moment, you’ll probably need to do a bit more, but let me stress this again…IT WON’T NEED TO TAKE OVER YOUR LIFE.

Before you get started and actually begin running, you need to have a think about different times you could allocate to your training. Could you get up a little earlier a couple of mornings a week?, would it be possible to run during your lunch break or could you combine it with other tasks such as dropping kids at after school clubs or sports classes etc?

You’ll need to be able to spare 20 – 30 minutes at least 3 times a week to begin with.

If after having a think about what I’ve just mentioned, you can’t realistically spare the time, then it’s unlikely that you’re ever going to be able to commit enough to the challenge of running a 5k and you could do with finding another avenue to follow.

If this does sound feasible, you need to next think about how and where you’re going to run. If you live in a rural area with loads of open space to run, will you be able to do it after dark?

If the thought of running outdoors and maybe seeing friends and family causes you a great deal of embarrassment then is it possible for you to buy or borrow a treadmill, use one owned by a friend or join a gym?

It may be that you need to drive to an area that’s suitable for beginners to run on, for example a long flat road with a good running surface.

Another good option is to join a running club. If you do a Google search for their details, you can ring to find out if they have a beginners group and if so how far they typically run. By speaking to someone first, you’ll also be able to get a feel for the club.

No matter which route to running a 5k you choose to pursue, you are going to need 2 things.

Firstly, a pair of good quality running shoes that fit properly, you can find out how to choose the best running shoes here – How to choose the best running shoes for 5k training.

Secondly a training schedule and running manual. Whilst you may think that running is simply a case of putting one foot in front of the other, a little faster than walking, and the more you do the better you’ll get, this is a very simplistic view point.

There is much, much more to your training than this. Ideally…

  • you’ll want to avoid injuries
  • you’d prefer to enjoy the whole experience
  • you want to know that the things you’re doing are right
  • you’ll want to improve your fitness fast
  • you want to be able to run a 5k in just a few weeks instead of months

Unfortunately without the knowledge you need to build up your fitness levels, the chances are you might never make it your first 5k race.

Boredom, injuries, frustration and lack of progress are all factors that usually stop a beginner from getting any better.

If you’d like to find out more about a running system that I guarantee will get you to your first 5k race within the next 6 – 8 weeks depending on your current level of fitness then click here – couch to 5k.