Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Your Guide to Starting a Successful 5K Training Plan

If you want to shake things up and start a 5K training plan, there are many possible directions to take. You can run outdoors or indoors; you can run quickly or try longer distances at a slower pace; and you can train with a group or by yourself. Despite all the variables, there are keys to successful 5K training, no matter what your approach. Follow these 5 guidelines to get started on the right track.
Don't think; just run. If you start thinking about the possible negatives that can come from running, you'll never get to all the positives. Turn off your mind for a while and hit the road. It is definitely possible to over-think things, especially when in the comfort of your own home on a day of less than spectacular weather. You'll always feel better after a run, so set your worries aside and get going.
Break in your running shoes around the house. Taking a pair of sneakers out of the box and running several miles is never a good idea. Wear your new running shoes around the house or to the store for a few days so your feet can make their indentations. When you start clocking distances of 5K or more, it won't come as a shock to your feet and you'll avoid blisters and swelling.
Put fuel in the tank. Just as you would never start a road trip without gas in your car's tank, so should you not start running without energy stored in your body. Despite the bad reputation carbohydrates have gotten recently, you will find them useful as you embark on a distance running program. Remember: the chief problem with carbohydrates is when calories aren't burned. With regular exercise, you won't have that problem.
Prep for minor soreness and joint pain. If you've been neglecting an exercise regimen, you'll experience minor aches and pains when you start running. Be prepped for this reality by getting some soothing ointment for sore muscles and light braces for overworked joints.
Once you lay the groundwork, start to push yourself. With a few weeks of short distance running under your belt, your body will be ready to tackle longer distances. Continue to push yourself or join up with other runners to motivate one another and get the most out of your 5K training plan.
Starting a 5K running regimen will in many ways be the best thing you can do for yourself. When you're ready to get started, follow these tips and do it right.