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Five Steps for Your First 5K

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Looking to run your first 5K? Proper training is very important. Check out the following smart tips for pre-race advice.

You may not have a marathon on your mind, but if your goal is to run in a race for the first time, proper training is still very important.

A 5K (3.1 mile) race is a good place to start. Having a short race to train for could be just the motivation you need to get yourself in shape.

The following tips can help get a beginning runner on the right path to the finish line.

1. Set realistic goals
A 5K race can be a challenge for the more expert runner who depends on intensity and speed. But as a beginner, you don't have to go for the gold your first time out.

  • Start out with a simple program that lets you succeed and move forward when you are ready.
  • To avoid burnout or injury, don't push your limits. Your goal for the first race should be to have a good time and to build confidence by finishing if you can.

2. Basic training
First, get a complete medical exam to make sure it is safe to start a running program. Then plan on an eight- to 10-week training program.

  • If you have never tried a running program before, you may want to start with an eight-day walking routine before you start to run. The program consists of walking for 20 minutes the first four days, then walking for 30 minutes the last four days.
  • If you have no trouble, then follow a 30-minute circuit of running for two minutes and then walking for four minutes five times consecutively. Follow this routine three times per week until you are comfortable.
  • Each week, add a minute to the running time and subtract a minute from the walking time. Keep it up until you are running continuously for the 30 minutes.

3. Keep safety in mind
Training gradually and safely are the keys to long-term success. Also, rest time is just as important as time spent training.

  • When choosing gear, make sure you select proper shoes and clothing that fit well and are suited for running.
  • The best running surface is a track. If no track is available, asphalt is better than concrete. Running on dirt or silt alongside the road is even better.
  • If you run near areas of traffic, wear highly visible, even reflective, clothing.

4. Stay motivated
Since you may need to train over a period of weeks, it's important to keep up your motivation.

  • Find a running buddy or a group to run with. You are more likely to stick to your regular workouts if you have someone counting on you to show up.
  • Consider working with a personal trainer who specializes in sport-specific training. To hire a personal trainer, do your homework first. Make sure he or she is properly educated, certified and has the right qualifications to help you meet your goals.

5. Track your progress
Much like food journals, you may find it helpful to keep a running log.

  • You can track things like distance, time of day, total running time, weather, emotions and heart rate.
  • Then you can go back and review your log to see how much mileage you've logged and to remind yourself of what you've accomplished in your training.

Whether you come in first or last, remember this: running, like any form of physical activity, can reduce stress, help keep your weight in check and improve your overall health with cheap Filitra. With regular exercise, everyone is a winner.