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How to start running as a beginner and train for your first 5K, these are some things you want to keep in mind!

By: Coach Maleia Tumolo
November 4th, 2019

How to start running as a beginner and train for your first 5K, these are some things you want to keep in mind! 

Have you recently been thinking you would like to start running? Maybe a friend of yours completed a race or you volunteered at a local 5k and thought “Hey, that looks like fun! I want to do that”. But you are not sure where to start? In starting any kind of training plan whether you are new to running or coming back from a long break; your ultimate goal should be to arrive at your first race healthy and injury free.

For most starting out the overall thought is that running is easy. All you need is a pair of GOOD running shoes and you just go run. Right? But that’s not true. Running is simple. It is not easy!!! There are many things you can do wrong in that first year, month, heck even weeks just starting out that can make running very hard. From the first day you decide to start your running journey and through your first year of running there is a really important window of progression where the body needs to adapt to the impact of running. During this time, you are looking to give yourself a foundation to grow on so that you can develop more LEVELS of fitness and more gears to use. When starting out you have 2 levels….1. Easy (walking). 2. High intensity (running).

During those first several weeks the one thing that needs to be kept in mind is to start where you are. Not where you want to be in 10 weeks. Not where your friend is at. And not from where the person who you saw last weekend run a 5k is at. You really need to take a personal inventory of what your fitness level is and remember that everyone progresses at a different level.

Something to keep in mind is that it is very easy to get carried away with all the excitement of something new and start off with too much, too fast. So make sure you understand what your goal is. For first timers when picking a running goal (duration, distance, or speed) you should only focus on one at a time. With that one being duration. Once you have a good base of let’s say 30 minutes of walking or walk/running 3 times a week for 3-4 weeks; then you can begin to focus on distance. And then after you have finished your first race, then you can begin to focus on speed.

Once you have stated that willingness to get started aim for consistency in your new running program. Establish a weekly running schedule to get into a regular running habit. Joining a running group or finding a friend to run with can help keep you motivated and on the correct path. Make sure to just walk or combine your runs with intervals of walking. For many new runners, this is the easiest way to build endurance with less stress on the joints and a manageable intensity

level. As you become more comfortable, make the switch to all running. Your legs may be sore in the beginning but be aware of the difference between being tired and being injured, and make sure you’re not encouraging overuse injuries.

When running you should keep your head held high, look straight ahead (not at the ground), put your shoulders back, keep your arms tucked in and short, quick steps are better than long ones. You should warm-up and cool-down and count those times in the total amount of time for your runs. Do dynamics stretches after your warm up and static stretching after you cool down. Take rest days and be kind to your body by rolling, cross training, and stretching often.

Most importantly do not become frustrated. The first several weeks are always the worst weeks when it comes to starting a new fitness plan. You might feel tired and weak and your body might rebel. Just trust me when I tell you, it gets easier. Think about the big picture, focus on your goal and remember even the most experienced athletes must be patient and learn to trust in their training.

Without Limits Walk to Run Program is a great way to start your running journey, meet people with like goals, be a part of a team, encourage each other, and have trained coaches help you along the way. Click Here to learn more about this program.

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