Ten years ago I signed up for my first 5k. I remember I barely trained for that race (I think I ran three times in the weeks leading up to it), I walked part of it, but I finished it and I had a blast! So much so, that here I am today running marathons and completing triathlons, and loving every minute of it! But, there is a lot I know now I wish someone had told me earlier! So, here is my first piece of wisdom I give to you:
Go to a local running store and spend some money on good sneakers!
First, let me be clear. I DO NOT mean go to a store, pick-out the coolest color sneaker you can find, and assume since they are "new" they are what you need. I mean go to a reputable local running store like Road Runner Sports, where they will spend some time with you, sneaker fit you, watch you run, and explain what pair of sneakers would work best for you/why. Do you pronate, supinate? Do you have high arches, low arches? Are you a neutral runner? These are things knowledgeable sales people at a RRS can help you with.
I know, new running sneakers can be expensive, but trust me, your feet is where it all starts. It is one of the key components to keep you injury free and enjoying the running experience, the right sneakers for you are worth every penny. Can you race a 5k with whatever sneakers you have and be ok? Yes. If you don't have the money, you can get away with it. But, if you can splurge, trust me, it's worth it. AND at packet pickup the day before the race you get up to 20% off in store!
Ok, hopefully you have now got yourself some cool new kicks and maybe even some awesome new socks. (I recommend the coolest colored socks you can find, personal experience proves they make one feel faster). So, now you run, every day as fast as you can right? No. Please, don't do that.
1. Run only 3-4 days a week.
2. Aim for a minimum time of 30 minutes of running each session.
3. Don't run too fast!
4. Make it fun!
This is another reason why Infused Fitness is so awesome; they support their community with a FREE run club training series 3-4x/week starting 6 weeks out!
Perhaps the most common mistake new runners make is running too often, too fast. It's exciting to train for a race, and it seems to make sense to go out every day to run, and try to run as fast as possible each time! But really, that's just setting yourself up for an injury. Consistency week after week, really is the key to staying injury free and becoming a better runner and our bodies need days off to repair and strengthen our muscles.
What pace should you run? Your training pace should be one where you can carry on a conversation with a friend. Which leads me to, "make it fun!" Joining us at RUGA or finding a friend to run with, will go a long way towards making running more enjoyable, and make the miles pass more quickly.
Also, it is ok if you can't yet run for a full 30 minutes without a walk break. Walk when you need to, and start running again when you have caught your breath. You will be amazed at how quickly your body responds, and how much easier it will become in even three weeks!
Questions? Comments? Throw them at me in the comments section, and I will try to answer to the best of my ability.
— with Colleen Cahill.