Running your first 5K

Is quarantine starting to inspire you to take that leap and get involved in all these 5K challenges that are floating about on social media lately? Being shut in the house can make people do some crazy things, and it seems more and more people are getting the running bug.

If you’re thinking of heading out and trying your first 5K, it’s important to remember a few things. First time running is difficult; you may be out of shape, or simply out of the loop, so its important to ensure you don’t injure yourself or scare yourself off from running ever again by doing things wrong.

Here’s how to ensure you smash your first 5K:

Pre Run

Even the best runners in the world don’t just get up and go. You need to put in a little work before you start out running to warm up the body, get the blood pumping and loosen up those muscles. If you don’t, you aren’t likely to get far and boy, you’re going to be sore in the morning. Dynamic stetches such as lunges, heel flicks are best at helping to prevent injuries by improving flexibility and mobility in joints.

The (dreaded) first run

If you haven’t exercised in a long time, or at all, ever, then its important to start things slowly. Nobody is going to expect you to be able to go from couch to 5K in one go. Start of with a run/walk plan to help build your aerobic fitness and get your body used to moving again. Our sedentary lives have made our bodies softer and it takes time to get them used to the physical aspect of exercise again.

Don’t overdo it by trying to exercise everyday either. Aim for three times a week to start with to give your body time to relax in between sessions.

Don’t focus on time as you start out, just focus on distance. As long as you are completing a 5K with a combination of running, walking and jogging you are on the right path.