Whether you run, walk, or roll across the finish line, completing your first 5k is an exciting achievement. It’s also one of the most accessible fitness goals; all you need is a good pair of sneakers and about 30 minutes a few days a week to prepare for your first event.
If you’re currently walking for exercise, you’re already on the way as walking is the first step (pun intended) to becoming a runner. Once you’ve been walking regularly for two to three weeks, take it up a notch and give jogging a try! Here are a few tips for getting up to speed.
Start by incorporating short jogs into your walks.
After a 5-minute walking warm up, jog for 30 seconds at a moderate pace. Return to a walk for 3 to 5 minutes, and then try another jogging interval. At first, just two or three jogging intervals will be a big boost to your walks. As you get stronger, you will be able to increase the duration or frequency of the intervals.
Progress gradually and practice good form.
Broaden your shoulders, tuck your hips to engage your core, and avoid hunching over when you run. Imagine being pulled forward by an invisible string attached to your breast bone and let it lead you down the road!
Listen to your body.
As you begin jogging a larger portion of your workout, you may begin to feel soreness in your muscles and joints. Leave at least 48 hours for rest and recovery between jogging workouts. Some soreness is to be expected as you challenge your body, but stop if you feel sharp pain.
Make time for stretching.
Taking 10 to 15 minutes after a workout to stretch will help loosen and elongate your muscles, leading to faster and more comfortable recovery. Stretching can also help you avoid injury in future workouts. Pay attention to muscles that tend to get particularly sore and tight from jogging, such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, glutes and iliotibial bands (the ligaments that run on the outside of your thigh). Your Wellview Personal Trainer can guide you through some stretches and help you develop a custom runner’s workout.
As you get stronger, increase the jogging portion of your workout, moving from 30 seconds of jogging to 45 seconds, 60 seconds, or even 90 seconds. As you are able, shorten the walking portion accordingly. You may surprise yourself with how quickly you are able to run much more than you ever imagined!
Our goal at Wellview is to help you discover what moves you, and support you along the way. Schedule a consult with a Personal Trainer or one of our Certified Running Coaches to develop a plan that is right for you.
Click HERE to learn more about the Wellview services available to you. We can’t wait to work with you!
Heather Fuselier, CHWC, CFP, TTS
Health Advisor | Email Heather