Running your First 5K

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they want to know how good a physical condition they are in. The best way to do this is to enter a competitive 5K Running race. A lot of people begin with a 5K because its a middle of the road race that isn't too short or too long and a great one to start jogging and training for. A non runner in his first 5k race should not be thinking of winning or even of getting anywhere near the podium. Its important to know others who are running for the same reasons that you are and see how you measure up to those people. And once you finish the race, it’s a great motivator to keep on running on a regular basis.

Even if you are not a regular runner, the 5K Training is a good way to judge your physical standards and once you finish it, a great motivator to keep on running. Approaching your first 5K race is not something you want to decide one week before the race, its best to do it right and take some time to prepare. The first thing you need to do, especially if you are over 30, is get a doctor to certify that you are in good over health and that there is no medical reason why you should not run the 5k. The next thing is to begin your training program.

There is no fixed training schedule you have to follow. Its good to realize that no two people have exactly the same fitness levels. There are lots of books and internet site that can tell you how to prepare for the 5K Running race. Go through as many of them as you can and find the plan that suits you best. Do not be taken in by any plan that promises results in a few days – its not possible. The average training time required for a non runner to get in shape for the 5k is 6 to 8 weeks. If you feel that this is too short a time span for you, there are many programs designed a lower more measured progression that can extended to 10 or 12 weeks.

If you find the plan you have chosen does not suit you – it may be too easy and become boring or too hard and over stress your body – stop and try something else. It is important not to modify a training schedule yourself. Each schedule is designed on specific parameters and speeding it up or slowing it down may results in less than optimum results.

Most training programs will list warning signs that tell you that you are overdoing it or that the program does not suit you. Anything from muscle pain to soreness and diarrhea can be some of the results of some of these things. If you have any of these symptoms, stop, see if you are doing something wrong and if you are not, switch to an easier paced program. You always have to ask yourself why you want to run and the purpose and point of your running so you have good expectations.