Want to run your first 5K? Here’s what you need to get started
Have you had enough of spending your free time laying on the couch watching mind-boggling TV, scrolling through your phone, eating junk, gaining weight, and feeling lazy? If any/all of the above sounds familiar to you, a new exercise regime could do you the world of good.
If you’re new to the world of sport and fitness, you need to ease yourself into exercise gently, and follow a routine that will test you, without pushing you too hard, too quickly. As a beginner to running, a program with the clever name “Couch to 5K” is perfect to get started and familiar with to increasing your running distance.
Couch to 5K is a fitness plan for beginners that is designed to get everyday individuals up, off the couch/sofa, and active. Each week, the plan involves 3 runs, with 1 recovery day between. The program lasts for 9 weeks and for each of the 9 weeks there is a different schedule for runners to follow.
If you’re thinking of building a running habit and want to run your first 5K race, here’s a look at what you need to get started.
A fitness tracker
If you’re serious about knowing your running stats, one of the first investments that you’re going to have to make is a fitness tracker.
Fitness trackers are great for all manner of different aspects of fitness as you can track sleep, steps, distance, speed, pace, and much more besides. For your first 5K, they’re perfect because you can track and monitor your progress, see where you’re going wrong, and see what you’re doing right.
Fitness trackers will monitor your progress via GPS so you can see how much distance you’ve covered, and how quickly.
Running apps such as Strava are also useful, especially if you don’t have a fitness tracker. It’s really rewarding to finish a run and look at your route and pace.
Quality running shoes
When it comes to running kit, you can’t afford to compromise and buy cheap running shoes just to save a bit of money. Good quality running shoes are vital when running, regardless of how much distance you’re covering, or how much pace you have.
Running shoes offer comfort and support to not only help protect the joints, but also to help prevent blisters and rubbing as you run. Ideally, try the shoes on before you buy, as that way you get an idea of how they’ll feel and how comfortable they will be.
When it comes to exercise, nutrition is so important and with running, this is no different.
If you’re serious about committing to running, and ultimately completing a 5K race, you’re going to have to stock your fridge, cupboards, and freezers with healthy and nutritious foods.
Avoid processed junk foods, get plenty of fruits and veggies for their vitamins, lean protein sources for muscle recovery, and complex carbohydrates for slow-release energy.
As well as healthy produce, stock up with plenty of mineral water too, as hydration is so important, especially as far as exercise is concerned.
Finally, if you are ready to get started on your journey to your first running race, you’re going to need to invest in comfortable clothing.
Loose-fitting sports clothing is perfect, though ideally try to avoid cotton and look for a fabric which wicks away sweat. Cotton tends to absorb sweat, so the material gets heavier and clings to you when you perspire, which is not ideal for running.