The 5k run walk event is very popular with those who are regular walkers (and even those who are not!) as the next level in both a fitness regime as well as an enjoyable competitive sport. The mixture of running and power walking reduces the overall impact of the exertion on the body and lessens the risk of injury. Since it is up to you as to how much you run and how much you walk, you can find the balance that suits you best without over straining your body.
5k is about 3.2 miles and depending on the levels of fitness it can be run in about 20 minutes by fast runners and can take up to an hour for the non professional walker. When you begin a new sport you really want to distinquish that you are doing this for yourself and not to compete with those who are at a higher level than you.
Presuming that you are already a walker, 5K Running for the 5k run walk is not difficult. If you search bookstores and the internet you will fine a huge volume of material on run walk techniques and 5K Running programs. As a beginner you don’t need to worry about all that at this time. A simple 3 stage (3 days X 2 of Jogging and one day rest) weekly training program should get you into shape for the race.
Start each day’s training with a simple stretching and warm up routine. This should not take more than 3 or 4 minutes and should leave you feeling loose and relaxed.
Stage 1 (Mondays & Thursdays) – These are your speed training days. Run a sort distance – up to a quarter mile – as fast as you comfortably can. Slowly build up your performance. One Mondays keep trying the increase your speed and on Thursdays increase your distance till you can do 2k at a fast pace.
Stage 2 (Tuesday & Fridays) – These are your run walk day. Starting by covering 2k at a moderate pace by a combination of running and walking (about 50% each). Moderate pace means something between a flat out run or high speed walk and a slow jog or causal stroll.
Stage 3 (Wednesday & Saturday) – These two days are meant for stamina building. Start at 2 or 3k and work your way up to 5.5k. Really you can say that speed isn't as important but that does mean you should be lazy about it. The most important thing is that you finish the 5.5k without feeling exhausted and totally out of breath. If you are wondering why the distance is 5.5 and not just 5k, it because the extra distance will give you stamina for a fast burst at the end when you are in a race.
Modify the days to suit your convenience but ensure that there is one rest day a week so you muscles can recover and build themselves up. Adjust the training intensity and progress to suit your body. You really want to not try to measure your success by your time but how you feel after you cross the finish line.
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