For those just starting out, a 5K is the perfect distance for first-time racers. At 3.1 miles long, a 5K race is usually an amateur runner’s first attempt at getting into the racing game. You can easily train for 5K, even if you’ve never run around the block, and be ready for race day in just a couple of months.
How to Run a 5K: Phase One
If you want to know how to run a 5K, first you have to determine your starting point. Everybody’s ability is different, which is pretty awesome if you ask me, so test yourself by trying a mile. Can you run it without stopping? Some people will be able to, even if they haven’t run in years, and some people who work out consistently may find they need to stop and walk. Nothing to be ashamed of, it’s just a jumping off point.
If you cannot run a mile, this is your first goal. Start out with 30-minute walk/jog intervals. Wear a watch or use your cell phone to set intervals. (Some heart rate monitors have this function, too.) Alternate running for one minute with walking for 30 seconds, and slowly increase the run intervals and shorten the walk intervals until you can run a full 30 minutes. This is a big accomplishment in and of itself, so take a minute to pat yourself on the back and buy yourself a pair of new running shoes before moving on to the next phase.
If you can already run a mile, good for you! You are light years beyond most, so take a minute to be proud of how impressive your body is. Then proceed to Phase Two.