Build Up to 5K (3.1 Miles)

Jogging, Run, Sport, Jog, Sporty, Race

We all know that aerobic activities, such as running, are great for your health. Getting into a running routine will improve your well-being on numerous levels, both physically and emotionally. If you are new to running, or considering starting, knowing where and how to begin can be the most challenging aspects of getting up and moving. The best thing to do is to set a target and then collect a running plan.

Even if you don’t currently run in any way, it can take as few as 6 months to train for these races. So, set your sites on a goal, and then follow this simple, 6-week training program.

Workout

This first week you only wish to set your sites on getting off the sofa and getting moving. Start simply by selecting four days to jog, or walk, 0.5 miles. If you choose to walk, do so at as fast a pace as you’re comfortable with.

Strength-Building

You also need to plan to do two days of light strength-building. Strength-building is very important when training for a race as it builds the muscles needed for continual running. You don’t need to lift heavy weights and bulk up. The weight of your own body or, light, free weights, will be more than sufficient. You can do it in the comfort of your own home with free weights or a yoga mat, or, if you have access to a fitness center, use their machinery.

Diet

During this first week it is a fantastic idea to also start adding healthy foods to your diet, which gives you energy as you run. Avoid greasy and heavy foods that can make you feel exhausted and drain your energy. Foods, such as nuts, fruits, and vegetables are great for high nutrition energy.

Workout

Now that you’ve made it through your first week, up your mileage to 1 mile, three or four times this week. Try to run the entire way if you’re able to, even if it is at a very slow pace. Make sure you stretch before, and after, so you don’t pull any muscles.

Strength-Building

Continue to strength-build twice this week. Yoga is a excellent strength building activity because it’s a complete body workout that many overlook. It’s also a great workout for runners, because it stretches out the muscles that normally get tight, as you construct your running distance.

Diet

Continue to add healthy foods into your diet. You may also notice an increase in hunger as you workout more. Definitely eat when you are hungry, but keep in mind that running one mile just burns 100 calories, so snack wisely.

Workout

You’re up to 1.5 miles now!

Strength-Building

Continue to strength-build twice per week. You may choose to add core exercises, such as planking, or sit-ups. Make it a goal to board for 30 seconds.

Diet

Continue to add healthy foods into your diet. Make sure to drink lots of water before and after you exercise.

Week 4

Workout

Just three short weeks ago you could not run at all. Now you can boost your mileage to two miles, three times each week.

Strength-Building

Continue to strength-build twice per week. Attempt to board for 45 seconds.

Diet

Consider producing good tasting post-workout smoothies. Also consider adding greens to your smoothie, such as spinach, or kale – they’re jam-packed with anti-oxidants.

Week 5

Workout

Almost there! Boost your mileage up to 2.5 mph. Now that you are going longer distances make certain you stretch very well before, and after, each exercise.

Strength-Building

Continue to strength-build twice per week. Try to plank for 60 seconds. Squats are excellent for strengthening the running muscles in your legs.

Diet

As you run more, you may begin becoming depleted of electrolytes. Potassium is a vital electrolyte for runners.

Week 6

Workout

Now you are ready for the final leg of your training. You’re up to 3 miles this week! Try to run 3 times this week, providing yourself a break day and 2 strength-building days. The day before you run the 5K, it is a good idea to take a short run, say 1 mile, just to keep your muscles warmed up.

Strength-Building

You can continue to strength-build this week. Just ensure you don’t over-do it.

Diet

Continue to eat healthy foods. A day, or two, until the race, make certain you don’t eat anything too heavy, or out-of-the-ordinary. You don’t want to deal with an upset stomach on race day.

Week 6+

Hopefully, after completing your 6 weeks of instruction, you feel great, both inside and out. Running can truly be transformative. Do not stop at 5K. From here you can continue your running routine by maintaining a 3 mile distance. Or, if you are feeling more ambitious, you can set your goals higher and start to train for a 10K (6.2 miles) and, possibly even a Half Marathon (13.1 miles). Just continue to increase your mileage and focus on your runner’s diet and you will reach your next goal in no time!

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