Most of you will know by now, I’m not a fan of running. I wasn’t designed to run, I feel lumpy and heavy when I run and apart from crossing the finish line I have yet to experience of happiness whilst I run (maybe just once, shssss) I start out with pretty good intentions, and then get pretty angry and tend to focus on the fact I have to ‘only get round this corner’….’just run to that lamp post’ and generally look like a very angry human being.
Unfortunately for me I have a team of very enthusiastic Runners – those that run for fun.. know any of those?!
So for those of you that feel a little like me when it comes to running I have been looking into the best way to train for a 5K and here’s some sound advice.
A great way to get started is to devise or follow a programme. I have spoken to a few runners and a lot have mentioned the Couch to 5K app, a programme which you follow daily which encourages you to combine walking and running, gradually increasing the time to run. It has had some real success with members I know so that’s a great starting point. Here’s a similar programme:
Now normally when I run, I face it alone. But in this instance I would suggest that running with a buddy would definitely help your motivation and so many of our runners group together which is awesome, tackling a course as a team! Another thing to consider is what to wear on your feet, now we all have that faithful pair of trainers but are they what you should be wearing? Our members have shared a couple of local places that will check and measure your feet and how you run, allowing you to make a choice of the best trainer for your needs and budget. If you are lucky enough to have a fitness tracker, then great, definitely track your runs and keep an eye on your times and distances. Share your runs with your friends and support group, even if like me you only manage a short distance it is all positive progress!
Always aim for a 5 minute walking warm up and afterwards a cool down and a good stretch. Avoid trying to run too much at first, small distances and regular running and walking paces will help. Focus on going further, not harder and eventually you will be running 30mins with a smile on your face (Honest)!!
A good way to know you are running the right pace is by taking the “Talk Test.” If you can talk while you run, you are at the right pace. If you are gasping for air, can’t get a word out and are counting the seconds until you can stop, you are likely going too hard. When you run too hard, the fun factor drops, injury risk goes up, and the chances of returning for another run are slim to none. The secret is to finish the running workout knowing you could run a little farther if you had to. Running is all about having fun, getting in shape and feeling good. Run at a pace where you can still talk and you will find your running career taking off.
In many ways, running is like shopping for jeans. We all have different strengths, speeds and styles. There is no one running style that fits everyone. You may run faster than your friend or she may cruise by you.
Avoid comparing yourself to your buddy because there will forever be faster and slower runners. Some people progress and adapt faster while others (like me) take longer to improve.
Speed is relative, and it is a good measure of your success. Most likely, someone is looking at you and wishing they could be running too. Focus on your running career and where your footsteps are taking you. Like jeans, we all have a pair that fits our style.
Remember this CAN be a fun thing to do. You are in control of your run, and it can be a enjoyable exercise….. I’m saying this with gritted teeth!! I have seen so many of our members take up running and absolutely smash their goals and the satisfaction is amazing.
So if I have inspired you to give it a go – why not speak to Coach Keith and find out when the latest group run is? Take yourself and a friend round the block? Just give it a go! You never know you might just become one of those crazy running people too!