Couch to 5K

March 3, 2016, 6:35 pm

Interested in running your first 5K? Here are three steps to take in order to get you from your couch to the finish line!

STEP 1: Sign Up to Race--Today!

Nothing gets you cracking on a goal like making it official. Sign up for a 5K race, then tell everyone you know that you're going to run. Now you have a deadline, and the motivation to train in order to follow through on your goal. A race keeps runners accountable; you’re training, not just running for fitness, and you have a plan, a starting point and an end point.

STEP 2: Get Ready To Run

With a little planning and preparation, you can run—comfortably—every step of the way of a 5K. The slow buildup and easy pacing of this five-week plan will allow your body to adapt to running 3.1 miles continuously, and the three-mile dress rehearsal runs will give you the confidence that you can go the distance on race day. (If you haven't been exercising at all, first spend several weeks running and walking until you can run for 10 minutes.) As you follow this schedule, avoid running on consecutive days and keep the pace easy enough to talk. Twice a week, cross-train by swimming, cycling, walking briskly, or taking a fitness class. Here is an example of a running schedule:

Week -- Weekday 1, Weekday 2, Weekday 3

  1. 1.5 miles, 1.5 miles, 2 miles
  2. 2 miles, 2 miles, 2.5 miles
  3. 2 miles, 2.5 miles, 3 miles
  4. 2.5 miles, 2.5 miles, 3 miles
  5. 2.5 miles, 2 miles, Race 3.1 miles!

STEP 3: Race Day: Now What?

You've done every workout, cross-trained, and rested well. You've run three miles—twice—and you're confident that running 3.1 continuously is going to be cake. But unforeseen scenarios on race day can derail your ambitions. The trick is knowing which situations you can run through, and which require a change in plans. Depending on the problem, putting your just-run goal on hold isn't giving up; it's a smart move that ensures you'll be in good shape to try again next weekend.

The Situation: Side Stitch

The Call: Slow down and change your breathing pattern. Take quick, shallow breaths for a minute or two, then switch to taking deep breaths for a minute. Keep running slowly for another quarter- to half-mile. If the pain doesn't subside by then, stop and stretch on the side of the road, bending to the opposite side of the stitch.

The Situation: Blister

The Call: You can tough it out through 3.1 miles. Steer clear of this situation entirely by testing your sock/ shoe combo during your training runs.

The Situation: Stomach distress

The Call: Assess the issue: Is it anxiety? Give yourself a pep talk and push along. Serious tummy trouble? Time to walk.

The content is not intended to be substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Cox HealthPlans website.




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