Spring is filled with running events, from fun 5 km runs to full marathons. Given some preparation, most people can join in one of these runs and have a positive and fun experience.
- Trying to "cram" last minute training for an event is not a good idea. Try working backwards from the date of the event and use a gradual approach for your preparation. For 5 km (goal of this blog), six weeks of preparation will help get you across the finish line. Aim to run 3-5 times per week with appropriate rest days in between. Rest days allow your body to recover and get stronger!
- For new runners, a run/walk approach is a popular strategy. Run for 2-5 minutes (however long you are comfortable) and then walk briskly for 1 minute. This gives your body more time to rest and recuperate while you are still moving and helps build up your stamina.
- It's worth investing in good shoes that are suitable for running. Think about it, race car drivers don't use the family sedan, they have a race car. Running requires proper running shoes.
- The reason we warm-up is to get our body ready to exercise. Warming-up increases blood flow to our muscles and warms them; which reduces the risk of injury and can increase performance. Cooling down is like shutting down your computer as opposed to yanking the power cord. It lets your body gradually return to its calm state. The cool down period is a good time to stretch.
Remember to focus on participation and enjoyment. Hey, you trained hard so relax and have a good race!
Recovering from the Race