Why you should run a 5K
You don’t need to be the first person across the finish line to get motivated for a 5K. My running times put me somewhere between slow and slower, but I sign up for race after race. Checking off steps along my training plan keeps me on track with my fitness goals, and the atmosphere at road races is positive and uplifting — the perfect high five to remind me that I’ve met another exercise goal. So sign up for a race and lace up your shoes. We have five things that will help you enjoy your training.
1. Find a running app
One of the main factors of getting from wanting to run a 5K to completing a 5K is logging training miles. Adding runs to your fitness plan and adding miles to your runs are the keys to getting across the finish line, but doing either of those things too quickly or too intensely can sideline you with a running injury. An app is a fabulous way to stay on track. RunKeeper is a popular — and free — app runners love. You can choose a training plan for different distances and different fitness levels, and the app will let you know how often and for how long you should be running. You can log runs manually or let GPS track and log your runs for you. RunKeeper makes training for a race fun and simple. Who knows? After the 5K you might love racing enough to immediately switch to the 10K training plan.
2. Put together a running playlist
Music can help inspire you, help pass the time or help power you through the last few minutes of a training run. When you begin, your playlists might be all over the place, but as you run more and more, you’ll find what works for you. Talk to other runners to see what they like — and remember your favorite tunes might not be your favorite running tunes. You can use music that matches your running pace. JogTunes can help you figure out your running pace and suggest music and playlists that work with your pace — there’s even an app for both Android and Apple devices.
3. Get fitted for running shoes
Take some time to visit a local running store and talk to a sales associate about your running plan. They’ll measure your feet, watch you walk and run and evaluate your foot strike before recommending a shoe type. Most running stores carry a variety of brands, so you should still have a wide variety of choices once you discover if you should be wearing stability, support, neutral or lightweight shoes. You should even be able to find your favorite color — we love the Glycerin 11, a neutral shoe from Brooks (Brooks Running, $150).
4. Try a running skirt
If you get hot in running tights but feel like running shorts ride up during your runs, try a running skirt. Running Skirts makes fabulous athletic skirts. The Carribbean Athletic Skirt has built-in compression shorts to keep your legs smooth and chafe-free (Running Skirts, $69). The skirts are sporty-chic, so you can wear one to run errands before your training run.
5. Find a fun run
If signing up for a road race is about motivation and fitness, a fun run is the perfect way to celebrate meeting your goal. Bursts of color, chocolate at the finish line and glow sticks galore are only some of the fun perks to completing certain 5K races. Search for a fun event in your state!
Are you a runner? Do you do races?