Friday, June 1, 2012

Training tips: 5 K

Happy Friday readers and runners! I'm excited to be starting a new series in the month of June. Yes, it's June. This month is very busy with end of the school year details, graduations, family visits, etc, so I thought it would be a great time to get some guest posts going! I've been getting a lot of questions about running different distances, so this month will be filled with training tips for running a 5k, 10k, 1/2 marathon, marathon, and ULTRA marathon (I'll be taking notes on that one especially!). For more information on running a 5k, check out Runners World's 5k training page.

So, readers, allow me to introduce Sarah. We met on Twitter, and she's got some FABULOUS advice on running a 5k!

 Name:  Sarah Oskey-Morrison
Twitter Name: SarahOskey

Distance to be discussed:  5K

When was the first time you ran this distance?
My first 5K was in October of 2008.  I ran a local breast cancer awareness 5K for Zonta.

What was the good?
It was amazing to realize I was capable of running a 5K, in fact, I even came in third in my age group and got a medal J. 

What was the bad?
The bad part was that I hadn’t done it sooner.  I’d always disliked running and been scared of races.

What was the ugly?
I did have an overwhelming feeling that I needed to vomit at the end, but it passed.

Now that you've ran this distance more than once, what are your top three pieces of advice?
1.       Practice
2.       Know yourself
3.       Don’t stress

What, if any, training plans did you follow?
Honestly, I just started running.  I’ve never put any pressure on myself to run at a certain pace or run a certain distance.  I run because I enjoy it, it helps me relax and feel good about myself.  But if you’re someone who likes to train and are starting from nothing spend at least a month prior training.
Week One: start with jog/walk intervals for 20 minutes.  Walk a minute, jog a minute.
Week Two: progress your intervals to jog for 2:30 and walk for 45 seconds
Week Three: Push yourself to jog for at least 10 minutes, take a walk break and repeat again
Week Four: Try to jog at least 2.5 miles
Take it easy a couple of days before the race
*this is a sample training program, adjust as needed

How do you fuel?
As you begin to run you’ll know how soon before a run, and what kind of foods feel good in your stomach before your sneakers hit the ground.  I generally have a small meal and lots of water beforehand.  I love English muffins with PB and a tomato on the side.

What was your favorite race at this distance?
My favorite 5K was the fourth of July one in my town of Alpena, Michigan.  My friend who is not a big fan of running did it with me and I stayed with her the whole time.  She pushed herself and I was so proud.  I didn’t care about my time, I cared about motivating her!

What is your mantra, or a quote for inspiration?
"Run into peace."--Meister Eckhart, 14th century philosopher

Please add anything you feel is important to let people know about this distance:
Top 3 pieces of advice:
  1. Being prepared for anything new in your life is good.  Ninety-nine percent of the time when you give some thought, practice and preparation to a big event you’re more successful.  So get out and do some practice runs before the big race.  You’ll feel more confident in your abilities and know what to expect, for things as simple as what shoes to wear and what leggings don’t chafe. 
  2. Know what you want to get out of your 5K.  Are you competitive or are you just excited to get involved?  If you are competitive you’ll want to figure out how fast you need to run your miles to be able to meet your overall time goal.  If you’re just excited to run, chill out and enjoy the sights, energy and excitement from the other runners around you.  Personally, that is my favorite part!
  3. Don’t stress about your 5K.  I see so many people get nervous about running in general and that frustrates me because to me, running is about relaxing and feeling good about yourself.  Just focus on what you can do.  If you can jog five minutes and then need a walking break do it.  Remember, running doesn’t mean fast, contrary to popular belief.  Running means something different to everyone.  Be proud that you are doing a 5K and simply do the best you can do at that moment.
Thanks Sarah, this was a great post!!!

What about you? Have you run a 5k? Hate the distance? Love it? Have some more advice? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

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