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Preparing for a 5km

Maybe you have been exercising for a while but have confined most of your workouts to the gym. Or maybe you have given yourself a break from exercise over the summer or longer and you are ready to get back into it. Maybe you have been walking to keep fit and you want to step up a level and start jogging. Getting started is the hardest part about running and getting fit. Here are some useful tips on what you need, adopting a good running form and avoiding injuries.

  • Run at least 3 days per week, but take off at least 1 or 2 days per week
  • Run slow enough for conversation and fast enough for perspiration. Run slow with fast walking breaks
  • Save hills and other terrain challenges for later. If you have to include hills, walk them until you are strong enough to run them
  • Run for minutes, not miles. Your first goal is to build up to running 30 minutes non-stop. You can do this in 4 weeks by sticking to the programme
  • Warm-up with a 5-minute brisk walk. Cool-down with a 5-10 minute slow walk
  • Flexibility is an important heath and fitness component as well as part of a good running program. Stretch when you are well warmed up afterwards

You’ll Need

  • A stopwatch or digital watch
  • Good running shoes – Regular sneakers and cross trainers are okay for the first few weeks, but they can quickly lead to unnecessary aches, pain and injuries
  • Comfortable, lightweight, breathable clothing

Basic Form

Running is pretty simple, left foot then right foot, left foot and right foot and so on. Here are a few form cues to make your running adventures more comfortable and successful.

  • Hands are cupped loosely. Relax and slightly curl the fingers
  • Arms are loose and carried with the elbow bent at about 90 degrees near waist level
  • Runner's posture is tall with shoulders down and relaxed
  • Eyes focus forward about 10-15 feet in front on the ground
  • Land lightly on the heel, rolling gently forward, pushing off with the front of the foot
  • Breathing through the mouth is easiest. Remember to exhale

More Thoughts

You'll probably have sore muscles for a few days after your first workouts. It’s normal – it's okay. A warm bath or shower may help you loosen up the day after a run and before workouts.

If you can't keep up with the schedule, don't give up. Stay at the level you can handle until you feel confident enough to move on. Your goal is to either build up to jogging non-stop for 30 minutes or to alternate a fast walk and jog for 40 minutes.

Pace your training and be cautious

If you have not been doing very much exercise over the past 6 months, or you feel unfit or overweight at the moment, it is important that you start gradually, progress moderately and keep your expectations realistic. Follow the beginner training programme below. If you have done no exercise or you are carrying a lot of extra weight, or you have any medical concerns, you should check with your doctor before starting any exercise programme.

Getting Started and Preparing to Complete 5km

The Beginner
Week One
Day 1: Day 1: Walk manageable pace 20 mins
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Walk briskly for 30 mins
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Walk relaxed 30 mins
Day 6: Walk 30 mins any pace
Day 7: Rest
Week Two
Day 1: Walk briskly 30 mins
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Walk briskly for 30 mins
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Walk fast with hills 25 mins
Day 6: Walk 45 mins over grassy and hilly terrain with 10 mins fast in middle
Day 7: Rest
Week Three
Day 1: Walk briskly for 40 mins with a fast burst every 3 mins
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Walk briskly for 45 mins
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Walk briskly for 40 mins with a fast burst every 3 mins
Day 6: Walk for 50 mins over grassy and hilly terrain with 10 mins fast in middle
Day 7: Rest
Week Four
Day 1: Walk briskly 45 mins
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Walk briskly for 50 mins with a fast burst every 3 mins
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Walk 45 mins
Day 6: Walk for 60 mins over grassy and hilly terrain with 3 x 5 mins fast in middle
Day 7: Rest
Week Five
Day 1: Walk briskly 50 mins
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Walk briskly 55 mins,with a fast burst every 3 mins
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Walk 60 mins any pace
Day 6: Walk 70 over hilly terrain
Day 7: Rest
Week Six – Repeat Week 5
Day 1: Walk briskly 5 mins, jog 15 min. Repeat 2 or 3 times
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Walk briskly 5 mins, jog 25 mins, walk fast 5 mins, jog 10 mins, walk slow 5 mins
Day 4: Walk 5 mins, jog 20 mins, walk 10 mins
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: Walk 30-40 mins
Day 7: Race

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Preparing to Run 3-5 Miles

The Beginner Runner
Week One
Day 1: Walk briskly 40 mins
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Walk briskly for 50 mins with a fast burst every 3 mins
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Walk 3 mins, jog slowly 2 mins. Repeat 6 times
Day 6: Walk 45 mins over grassy and hilly terrain with 5 mins jog in middle
Day 7: Rest
Week Two
Day 1: Walk briskly 40 mins
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Walk briskly for 45 mins with a fast burst every 3 mins
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Walk 3 mins, jog slowly 2 mins. Repeat 6 times
Day 6: Walk 45 mins over grassy and hilly terrain with 10 mins jog in middle
Day 7: Rest
Week Three
Day 1: Walk briskly 10 mins, jog 5 mins. Repeat. Walk 5 mins
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Walk briskly for 50 mins with a fast walk burst every 3 mins
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Walk 5 mins, jog slowly 5 mins. Repeat 4 times
Day 6: Walk for 50 mins over grassy and hilly terrain with 10 mins easy jog in middle
Day 7: Rest
Week Four
Day 1: Walk briskly 5 mins, jog 8 mins. Repeat three times. Walk 5 mins
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Walk briskly for 45 mins with a fast burst every 2 mins
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Walk 5 mins. Jog 10 mins walk 2 mins. Repeat 3 times. Walk 5 mins
Day 6: Walk for 60 mins over grassy and hilly terrain with 3 x 5 mins jog in middle
Day 7: Rest
Week Five
Day 1: Walk briskly 5 mins, jog 10 min. Repeat 2 or 3 times
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Walk briskly 5 mins, jog 15 mins, walk fast, 5 mins, jog 15 mins, walk slow 5 mins
Day 4: Walk 60 mins with fast bursts and hills
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: Walk 5 mins, jog 20 mins, walk 10 mins
Day 7: Rest
Week Six
Day 1: Walk briskly 5 mins, jog 15 min. Repeat 2 or 3 times
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Walk briskly 5 mins, jog 25 mins, walk fast 5 mins, jog 10 mins, walk slow 5 mins
Day 4: Walk 5 mins, jog 20 mins, walk 10 mins
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: Walk 30-40 mins
Day 7: Race

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Progression or already active

Once you have progressed through the beginner schedule or if you feel you are at the stage of fitness covered in the last 2 weeks of the beginner schedule, or you have been running or jogging regularly for over 6 weeks months, try the already active one that follows.

Already Active – Preparing To Run 5km (or Longer)
Week 1
Day 1: Easy jog 5 mins, increase pace 12 mins, easy jog 5 mins, walk 5 mins
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Run 10 mins, walk 2 mins. Repeat 3 times
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Walk 5 mins, easy jog 20 mins, walk 5 mins, jog 5 mins
Day 7: Jog 5 mins, good pace 15 or 1½ mile run, walk 5 mins
Week 2
Day 1: Easy jog 5 mins, increase pace 15 mins, easy jog 5 mins, walk 5 mins
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Run 12 mins, walk 2 mins. Repeat 3 times
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Walk 5 mins, easy jog 25 mins, walk 5 mins, jog 5 mins
Day 7: Jog 5 mins, good pace 2 mile run, walk 5 mins
Week 3
Day 1: Easy jog 5 mins, increase pace 20 mins, easy jog 5 mins, walk 5 mins
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Run 12 mins, walk 1 min. Repeat 3 times
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Walk 5 mins, easy jog 30 mins, walk 5 mins, jog 5 mins
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: Jog 5 mins, good pace 2½ mile run, walk 5 mins
Week 4
Day 1: Easy jog 5 mins, increase pace 25 mins, easy jog 5 mins, walk 5 mins
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Run 15 mins good pace, walk 3 mins, Run 15 mins pushing faster every 5 mins
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Walk 5 mins, easy jog 35 mins, walk 5 mins
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: Jog 5 mins, 3 mile run, walk 5 mins
Week 5
Day 1: Easy jog 5 mins, increase pace 25 mins, easy jog 5 mins, walk 5 mins
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Run 15 mins good pace, walk 3 mins, Run 15 mins pushing faster every 5 mins
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Walk 5 mins, easy jog 40 mins, walk 5 mins
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: Jog 5 mins, 4 mile run, walk 5 mins
Week 6
Day 1: Easy jog 5 mins, increase pace 30 mins, easy jog 5 mins, walk 5 mins
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Run 35 mins continuously with 5 fast 10 second bursts in middle
Day 4: Easy 3-4 mile jog
Day 5: Easy 15 mins jog, increase pace for last 2 mins
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: Race

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Race Directors: Alison Harvey: 504-6119, or Kathy Fulcher: 504-5505, or Lesley Caslin: 537-4867,