You've been running. It feels good, maybe a little hard, but you have come to flirt with the idea of entering for a 5km race.
Good choice. The 5K (3, 1 miles) is the distance for every runner. It's fun and feasible and, if you've been walking, jogging or jogging for 2 to 3 days a week for at least two months, you're ready. No doubt, the construction of your mileage may feel hard, and there will be days when you do not feel like running, but the reward is real (and we do not mean the shirt). Training in itself is a benefit: you will feel more fit, stronger and surprised that the distance or rhythm that used to be difficult actually feels comfortable.
Your first step is to sign up for a career in at least five weeks. That will give you enough time to follow our training program, created by Andrew Kastor, technician at the High Sierra Striders in Mammoth Lakes, California. Your plan is based on a constant simple trot of 2, 5 miles, giving you the distance you need to get to 3, 1 on the day of the race. Each week, you just have to increase the amount you run.
"For new riders, the goal is to increase the time you spend standing, avoiding injuries and having fun."
Coach Andrew Kastor, High Sierra Striders
YOUR OBJECTIVE: to finish the first 5 km race.
YOU ARE READY YES: you have been running, walking or jogging 2 to 3 days a week for at least two months.
SUMMARY: There are four days of racing, with a rest day or cross training in between. "The scheme every two days minimizes the risk of injury and provides mental rest," says Kastor. Alternating race days also ensures that rest days fall on weekdays and weekends, so the plan adjusts to your work and family life.
TIME VS. MILES: it is easier to measure the time of your races than the distance in miles, so weekdays trainings are done by clock and Sunday races are measured in miles so you can start to have a sense of your way through mile. "The miles of training are also confidence builders," says Kastor. "Knowing how far you've run offers the assurance that you can cover the distance of the race."
WARMING / COOLING: each run starts with 5 minutes of brisk walking and ends with 5 minutes of quiet walking. You're going to be tempted to skip this, but do not do it. Warm-up and transitional cooling ensure the body in and out of exercise, explains Kastor. In addition, the walking segments also increase the total training time, which helps to build the resistance you will have on the day of the race.
INTENSITY / PASS: all races must be done in a quiet effort: at the rhythm of conversation, 60-65% of the maximum heart rate, or 5 in a proportion of perceived excursion scale (from 1 to 10). Faster is harder to run and increases the risk of injury, says Kastor. Use your first race to build resistance. Then, if you want, you can start playing with speed.
Run / walk: during the first two weeks, the training will consist of running interspersed with one minute of walking. So "2 x 5 minutes running, and 1 minute walking" means that you will run for five minutes, walk on one, and then repeat. "3 x 5" means you will do it three times. Do not consider breaks as weakness. Nearly 80 percent of runners get injured. Walking breaks are a strategic tool to build a safe distance. In addition, they make you adapt easier to the races and they are more pleasant.
TRANQUIL RUNNING: these workouts are stable races done at a comfortable pace. If you're struggling to finish the workout, slow down.
LONG RACES: long stretches build the base for distance races: resistance. It is the most important part of training for a runner. If you do not live near a pedestrian path that has miles marked, measure the distance with the car. Mark sections (4 turns equals one mile) or use the U. S. Track and Field's mapping tool (usatf.org/ routes). Measure the time of your first training in miles. Next, you can estimate the time it will take you to finish the rest of the long stretches, or of course, you can map them as well.
REST / CROSS TRAINING: Rest days are whole days off (no training). Cross training is an option. You can do yoga, swimming, cycling, going to the gym; any training that you like. The added exercise will increase your resistance. Do not exercise too much the day before your long run so as not to start the fatigued key exercise.
DAYS OF THE WEEK: plans change sometimes. If you need to reorder the training days, do it. Simply change the days forward or backward, or do everything possible to preserve the plan every two days.
ABOUT THE COACH
Did you know...?
Training and finishing your first 3, 1 mile route race, you will join a legion of 2,600,000 runners (source: Running USA).