The great thing about running 5k is that nearly anyone with a reasonable degree of physical fitness and no major handicaps will be able to run the distance. It is a great workout and once the body is ready for it, is enjoyable and a great way to forget all your troubles for a while.
The 5k may not be a true long distance like 10k plus, but it is a serious distance to run and requires a proper training schedule to be able to run it for the maximum benefits in terms of exercise, pleasure and, if you are racing, good results.
5k is unique in that more than any other race it requires a careful balance of both stamina and speed and the training schedule need to reflect this. You will find may such schedules in books, magazines and on the internet. Before choosing one and beginning your training, consult a doctor and get his okay to begin. This is especially important if you are taking up running and beginning a 5K Training schedule over the age of 30.
There are two types of schedules available – one for the novice runner and the other for the experienced runner who wants to Jogging for competitive racing. These training plans can be very different and have different end results in mind.
The 5k novice training schedule is designed to condition your body to the demands of running this distance. While time is kept in mind (there no point in running 5k in 1 hour!) it is not the primary focus. This schedule will take you through the basics of running - how to look after your body, what changes to expect as your running abilities improve and what nutrition a runner requires. This schedule will take you through running with regular increases in speed and distance and set you milestones to achieve based on our age and fitness level. By the end of this schedule you should be a competent 5k runner with a reasonable time.
The more advanced schedule for the experienced runner who wants to improve his race timings will focus more on speed and one common way of doing this is by “tempo” running. A tempo run is a run at a fixed but continuously increasing speed over a fixed time, which will also increase slowly. By setting these targets this schedule allow the runner to work towards improving his performance to predetermined levels which will allow him to finish a race nearer the top.
One thing to remember about 5K Training schedules is that one size does not fit all. Every person has a different level of fitness and inherent physical capabilities that can be built on. Find a schedule that you are comfortable with and stick with it. Feel free to modify it to reasonable extent to suit our personal circumstances such as running timings, rest days, speed at which you progress and so on. While making your way through this training schedule its important to not try to force or increase the pace at which you make it through this schedule. All schedules are designed to allow the body to condition itself to the new demands being placed on it and skipping a stage or two may place an unhealthy strain on the system leading to pains, sprains and other problems.
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