5 Stops to Make on the Road to the 5K

Good morning and Happy Tuesday! I was back on the treadmill in the gym yesterday. I really struggled at the beginning just to get in the groove, but finally I did and ended my workout on a high note. Tonight’s activities will consist of weights, elliptical and stretching. Today is my final day of anti-biotic. While I am certainly not 100% yet, I am so much better than last week.

I have my final 5K of the year on Saturday, so I thought I would share another 5K post with you. Many of you may be considering doing a 5K for the first time next year. This should help you prepare.

5K Finish Line

5 Important Stops to Make on the Road to the 5K

Engaging in a regular vigorous running regimen can reduce your risk of heart attack by a whopping 50 percent, according to Runner’s World. If you ever needed a reason to start training for your first 5K, this statistic alone could be the impetus to get you moving.

There are five important stops you should make along your journey to marathon training, and every one involves the health of your heart. From the advice of your primary care physician to your state of mind as you cross the finish line, your cardiac strength is of the utmost importance.

5k finish line

Photo by Flickr user ** RCB **

1st Stop: The Office of Your Primary Care Physician

The first stop on the way to the 5K should always be the office of your primary care physician. Your doctor can advise you how best to go about meeting the harsh requirements of your 5K resolution. He’s the one who can tell you whether it’s a good idea and whether your heart is marathon-ready. And if it’s not — he also happens to be the best person to tell you how to go about getting it there. This is also where you should touch on the special requirements of a runner’s diet — whole grains, beans, tons of fruits and veggies with their well-washed skins attached, dairy, and plenty of protein: omega 3-rich meats, poultry and fish. These are the dietary tools that help build the muscle runners need to succeed.

2nd Stop: Online or at the Library

Your next stop needs to take you past the local library or at least online, where you can research just what’s involved in running a 5K marathon: What is that in miles? Is it uphill or flat? Can you stop for breaks if your body needs it? Check out the local races in your area and find ones that interest you. Are you running to bring attention to a cause such as cancer? Or are you running to help fund a local charity? Tying your desire to improve your mind and body to a charitable cause can help you find the incentive to persevere when the going gets rough.

3rd Stop: The Local Gym

Learning to be a runner takes a dedicated training schedule. Check with a local gym or consider enrolling in an organized training program like the 7-week one offered by the Mayo Clinic. The most important factors to keep in mind are making sure you know what exercises you need to include in your daily workout, how many hours a day you should dedicate to training and how to know when you’re pushing yourself too hard and need to stop.

4th Stop: In Front of Your Television at Home

Your heart needs to be in prime form if you hope to run a solid 3.1 miles, which is the equivalent of a 5K. This means working on exercises to increase your cardio endurance. When you have downtime at home, find out more on cardio workouts. Performing exercise challenges in front of your television to a workout DVD go a long way toward preparing you for your first 5K victory.

5th Stop: The Other Side of the Finish Line

Coming in first is always a rush, but don’t beat yourself up if you finish in 60th place. In the famous words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Remember, life is a journey, not a destination”. Winning is nice, but getting in shape, improving your body and your mind, and doing something big to boost your favorite charity are prizes enough.

Is running or walking your first 5K on your bucket list for 2014?

Have a healthy day!


2 Responses to “5 Stops to Make on the Road to the 5K”

  1. Good list… I am with Coco – good shoes and appropriate socks go a long way !