Summer is (hopefully!) on it’s way, meaning that heading to a hot and stuffy gym might not always be top of the agenda. But with lighter evenings and drier weather on the horizon, why not take your workout outdoors? Even if you’ve never run before, you could easily be up and running a 5k within 8 weeks, meaning you still get your workout in, all the while enjoying the great outdoors.
Ready to take on a new challenge this summer? Here’s how to get ready to run your first 5k.
- Wear the right shoes
First things first, make sure you’re wearing the right shoes. Your shoes affect how you stand, stride and land, and running in a pair of badly fitted shoes can cause you a lot of damage – head to a running store where they will watch you run, ask you questions and find you the shoes that will best support you.
- Take rest and recovery days
If you’re following a training plan, be sure to stick to the rest and recovery days. These are critical to your recovery and can help prevent you from getting injured. Plus, if you were to run every day you’re at a much higher risk of burning out mentally too. It’s also important that you listen to your body – if you’re feeling exhausted or especially achey then it’s okay to have an extra rest day; it will be more beneficial in the long run than pushing through the pain.
- Warm up and cool down every time
If your plan calls for a run, make sure that you start with a warm up of 5-10 minutes of walking or easy jogging. This will get the blood pumping to your muscles and it can also help to reduce muscle soreness and lessen your risk of injury when you come to do your training run. And once you’ve completed your run, try and end will a five-minute cool-down walk and some stretches.
- Increase your speed and strength
If you’re a beginner runner looking for increased body strength, it’s important that you include core workouts into your training routine. If your plan includes days where you should train on a cross trainer rather than run, you could incorporate some body-weight exercises into your workout such as push-ups, plank and ab exercises, back extensions and body-weight squats. Improving your core strength can have a beneficial effect on your running, as they can help to improve posture and strength, ultimately reducing your risk of injury.
- Follow a plan
If you’re serious about setting yourself a running goal but don’t really know where to start, the best thing to do is to follow a structured plan. Whether you opt to follow a free online plan and tailor it to suit your schedule, join a running club, or sign up with an online coach who will create a custom plan, sticking to a planned- out routine will help you see your best results.