If you’re new to my blog, you may think I’ve been running long distances forever.
Not true, my friend, not true.
I ran two in 5ks in college and a few in law school. But never anything further than that.
(Gasparilla 5k in 2006!)
And then this 5k was the first of this era of my life. Call it the “married era” if you will. I had put on some post-wedding weight, wasn’t working out, and didn’t like it.
So I decided to run a 5k.
It wasn’t easy – but it changed everything for me. I ran that race and never looked back.
Maybe you’re in the same boat. You want to make a change, but you’re not sure how. Running a race – any race – seems like a lofty goal. But it’s not. I promise.
You…yes, YOU…the one who is thinking “surely she doesn’t mean me”…yes, YOU can do a 5k!
1. Sign Up
Hear me out. You might be thinking, “WHOA! Shouldn’t that be Step Five? Or Step Ten?”
Go ahead. Find a race. Preferably about 9-10 weeks out. You’ll be ready. I promise.
Totally up to you. Ask around. See what people recommend. I suggest one that is flat and not a trail run.
Personally, I like to keep it local. But if a destination 5k will motivate you, then go for it! You also may want to find out if they have a medal or at least a t-shirt.
It is an awesome thing to commemorate your first 5k.
Don’t just think about signing up. Do it.
Okay, now that the race is paid for and on your calendar, it’s time to train for it. Why don’t I say to train first? Because you really could finish a 5k without much training. You could walk the entire thing – I have a feeling some of you have walked more than three miles at the mall without even knowing it.
My best suggestion for training? Follow the Couch to 5k program. It has worked for thousands of people – it can work for you too.
Confession? I fell off the C25k program a few weeks in – when it told me I had to run 20 minutes without walking. I wasn’t ready to do that – my body wasn’t either. At that point I started running intervals – I would jog for 4 minutes and walk for 1 minute. In fact, that’s how I plan to do the Disney Princess Half and that’s what I loosely did at the Rock n Roll Half. There is NO rule that you have to run the entire 5k. However you cross that finish line, you cross it!
The race is now less than a week away – whether you feel ready or not. Trust me – you’ll be fine. But now you’re wondering, what do I wear? What do I eat?
The best suggestion I’ve heard?
Don’t do anything new on race day.
Wear something you’ve run in before. Don’t try new shoes or new shorts that day. I don’t care how cute your new race outfit is. Don’t do it. The shoes you’ve been training in are fine.
Eat the same thing that morning that you’ve eaten before a run throughout your training. You’ll be nervous that morning – I can’t think of a single race I’ve run that my stomach hasn’t been filled with butterflies that morning. Just eat what you can. You’ll be fine.
Oh and I hate to break it to you – there is no need to carbload for a 5k so you can forego the giant pasta dinner at Olive Garden the night before.
Seriously – enjoy every moment of the race. Like I’ve said before, the race is your reward for all the training you’ve done. Feed off the energy of the runners around you. Relish the sound of the spectators cheering. This is YOUR race – you’ve earned it!
I really hope this has inspired at least ONE of you to try a 5k. I don’t care how out of shape you think you are – you CAN do this! Let me know if you decide to sign up – I’ll be cheering for you!!!
Need more inspiration? Check out these inspiring race recaps: