The best thing about a 5k running race is that almost anyone can do it; from complete beginners, to old hands. They are a great way to get involved in the fitness community and make new friends. However, there are several ways you need to prepare yourself so we've developed a 5k training plan to help you get started.
It is essential that you don’t jump into a race without any training or experience. Even if you want to join your local charity fun run, make sure you’re prepared.
Make a simple plan that gets you to the point you want to be and stick to it. This should make the training process a stress free and enjoyable one so your 5k doesn't become a chore.
5k runs have increased in popularity dramatically in recent years with events held up and down the UK; from small villages like Tarbert in Scotland, to big cities. Here are just a few reasons why 5ks have become so popular:
Most 5k runs are free to enter such as parkrun and the Vitality Run Series, which hold numerous events in a variety of locations up and down the country.
With the vast majority of these races supporting charities it gives you a chance to make a positive contribution to others lives, whilst achieving your personal fitness goals.
During workouts of moderate intensity (such as 5k races) endorphins are released that help to numb or dull pains. Studies have shown that these endorphins have affects similar to opium and morphine. Beta-endorphins are even addictive, so it’s a good way to start a healthy running habit.
Running is simply amazing for a full body work out: calves, thighs, glutes, core muscles and arms. You name it and running will work it. 5k training is also great for toning as well as slimming down.
Before you get started on your running here are a few general points that you should always take on board:
If you're new to running, or short of time, you might be interested in our new home gym equipment packages. We've selected our best-selling fitness machines to create the 5k Training Gym Pack to help you get you off the couch and in to shape - all in the comfort and convenience of your own home.
If you're a beginner you can start getting used to running longer distances, and if you're a more experienced runner work on improving your personal best. Whatever the weather.
This gym package has been designed by our in-house personal trainer. It contains the all important Sprint 3 treadmill, together with our popular 2-in-1 cross trainer and exercise bike, which will help you build your strength and fitness levels. Both pieces of equipment are perfect for cardio training and endurance; key factors in preparing for your 5k run.
There are an abundance of organised 5k runs that will appeal to all abilities and motivations. Here are a few of our favourites:
Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life is a fundraising, non-competitive event. It’s open to all abilities and you are free to go at your own pace; walk, jog, run or anything in between. There are over 200 of them across the country with plenty of spirit, warmth and enthusiasm amongst the runners.
The tag line for this 5k is ‘The Happiest 5k on the Planet’. You can’t go wrong with that. It has a message of healthy and positive living with a focus on improving health and wellness. Over 60% of the runners participating are first time 5k runners. A great race for an intro to 5ks as well as being fun for those a touch more advanced. Everyone is welcome at these events. Just turn up wearing white and get covered in paint and a bit of joy as you run your 5k.
All of these races are timed, judged and ranked. This one isn't just a run, it’s got obstacles along the way. Anyone can do it, but, you need to do a lot of prep work as it’s a full body workout out that even the experienced sportsman find a challenge. Super fun, hard work.
The point of a 5k is to have fun. If you enjoy doing it, it will be worthwhile and keep you on track with your fitness goals - no matter how fast you are - and it’s a great way to introduce yourself to the rewarding world of long distance running.
Photo Credits: i.newsrt.co.uk, www.macleans.ca, www.xfitevents.ca, www.compton-hospice.org.uk/