Tuesday, May 10, 2011

5 ways to a 5K

fitness appsA couple of my MOPS friends asked for tips on running a 5K.  Since MOPS ended on Thursday for the year (boo!) and I didn't get a chance to talk to them, I thought I would write this post.  Sarah, Joslyn, and Lori this is for you (and anyone else thinking about taking the plunge)!  
    1. Find a race and sign up for it!  If you pay your money and let everyone know you are doing it, you will be more likely to stick to your training.  Don't wait until you are ready to sign up, sign up and then get ready.  Find a race that is a 6-12 weeks out.  Luckily in Colorado (especially in the summer) there are always things going on.  Check out active.com or google 5K's.  
    2.  Get a training plan in place and then STICK TO IT!  Yes, we are moms and stuff comes up that will throw us off track.  But make this a priority (which is hard to do when you are a busy mom).  I don't think it is selfish to improve your health and accomplish goals.  When your kids are grown they will be so grateful that you made your health a priority.  Also, I am a better mom and wife when I get in my workouts (there is a lot less Dragon Lady going on)!  I post my training plan on the fridge and fill it out everyday.  Having a plan is is like having a map- it will lead you where you want to go.
      • Most training plans are pretty much the same.  This one at coolrunning.com is a good start.  You only have to run three days a week and you start off slow.  It also combines walking and running which is a great way to start building mileage. 
    3. If you have a significant other you need to discuss this commitment, especially if you have little ones.  You need to have a plan for what to do with the kids when you go out to do your runs.  Will you use a gym with a daycare?  Will you get a babysitter?  Will the husband watch the kids?  Will you use a jogging stroller (Blah!  I just flat out refuse!!)  Make sure you have the support of your mate to help you stick to your training.   
    4. I suggest working on accomplishing the distance before you try to improve your speed.  First you make sure you can run 3 miles straight through, then you work on improving your time.  If you are using a treadmill you just look at the screen to find out how far you've run.  If you are running outside go to a track or map your route on mapmyrun.com.  I would not worry too much about being "fast" if it is your first race.   Fast is a relative term anyway!
    5. You don't need a lot of gear. . .but some of it makes running better.  
      • Although it may not be classified as "gear," ChiRunning is a great book that explains a more natural way to run.  It made me a faster and more pain free runner.  Highly recommend!!!  You can even check out a copy of it at the library (that is what I did!).
        • Good shoes!  I love Newtons myself, but pick a shoe that works for you and the style of running you do.
          • Fast music.  A good beat can always get you through a tough run.
            • If you start running longer distances or you just like to have water near by I would suggest a hydration system like an amphipod.  They have handhelds and belts.  I think a handheld is great for this distance.  Lots of people say you don't need water for short runs, but I still like to have it!   
          Those would be my top five tips for beginning a 5K training program!  Don't forget to also get support, motivation, and inspiration from experienced runners along the way.  I love to read other runner's blogs.  They inspire me and keep me going!  And of course I am going to recommend my blog about my training!  =)  Remember I am here for you every step of the way and I am more than happy to go for runs together!  Happy running my friends and I hope you find as much enjoyment in it as I have!!


            1. thanks for the great advice...i'm thinking about running one this summer!

            2. That's awesome Melissa! Don't think about it, just do it!!

            3. ah! what a great blog!!! i didn't know you had one! neat!!! i love reading that you were where i am now--great motivation--i wanna be like you when i grow up!!! we need to talk more!! cheers to the tri in june!!!!