By Debbie Dehler, Fitway Lifestyle
Training for a 5K run or walk begins with a training program that will get you to your goal come race day. 3.1 miles in length, a 5K is suited for runners or walkers of various ability levels. Your training program will depend on a few factors: how much time you have before race day, your current fitness level, your reason for doing the walk or run (i.e. for fun, personal health, or competition), and of course, your own determination and perseverance.
For most people walking a 5k, an elaborate plan isn’t necessary. However, for the novice runner, getting help with the training program should be the first step. Books on training, personal trainers or coaches, and websites offering training advice are abundant, but its quality, not quantity that matters when finding an effective training plan. Find a reputable source that walks you through all the steps for your fitness level. Training programs should always be progressive so you can slowly build to your goal fitness level and prevent injury. This component of training plans stands true for all levels of runners and walkers.
Safety should be your first priority when training. This may include a proper warm up, post-exercise stretching, and proper eating and hydration. Interval training may also be a part of your program to help build speed and endurance. Please see your health care provider before starting any new exercise program.