Getting ready for a 5K!
Written by Carley B. Alves
Assistant Fitness Manager, Marilyn Fox Building
Have you ever thought about doing a 5K but are intimidated by the idea? Are you experienced with several races under your belt ,but want to work on hitting a new PR (personal record)? Here are a few tips to guide you toward your goal!
1. First, sign up for a 5K! This will give you a tangible goal. Choose one that allows you four to eight weeks to train. A few local race calendars can be found here: St Louis Track Club, Big River Running and Fleet Feet.
2. Running isn’t the only option! Set your goal to work for you – run, walk/run or walk.
3. Invest in personal training with a trainer who is a runner who can guide you toward exercises to strengthen and stretch. As we age, we need to strengthen our muscles, in addition to our running or walking workouts, to avoid injury prior to or during the event. Ask your trainer for a gait analysis to see if there are ways you can improve your stride. The J has trainers at both locations that can help you reach your running goals!
4. Run intervals on the treadmill or the track. Intervals will help you increase your speed so you can improve your pace or hit a new PR!
5. Invest in a good pair of running shoes to avoid injuries. Both Fleet Feet and Big River Running will fit you for shoes that are best for your foot type, whether you pronate, supinate or need extra cushioning. Look for shoes that provide adequate support and are made as running shoes (versus cross-training shoes).
6. Hydrate with water before, during and after your run or walk! While running or walking the 5K, do not pass by the water station without pausing to walk a minute or less to get some water. The only exception would be if you are an experienced and very fast runner with a fast pace.
7. Eat healthy while training. Have some light carbs an hour before you run or walk and a protein afterwards to assist with recovery. Avoid alcohol the night before your race and have no more than one cup of coffee the morning of the race, as both lead to dehydration (especially in hot weather).
The most important this is to enjoy working toward your goal and completing your race! If you have any questions about preparing for a 5K or want to know how the J can help you, contact Carley at 314.442.3499.