So, you went for it and signed up for your first 5k. Congrats! And now you have no clue what to do next. You know you need to train and eat right but where to start?! No worries, we’ve got you covered. With everything from how to approach your first run to fueling your body for race day, we’re here for you with simple ideas and tips to get you from start to finish with confidence.
Training for a 5k doesn’t have to be complicated. There are plenty of guides that outline how to train for a 5k, on varying timelines. In general, give yourself a month or two to prepare. This printable guide outlines what a beginning runner needs to do each week, breaking it down day by day. The Couch to 5K Running Plan, or C25K, has been helping new runners get inspired and prepared for their first 5k since 1996 and now has an app to keep track of progress and training goals so you don’t have to stress about what to do next. Starting off, focus on warming up, then alternate walking and running as you increase your distance and endurance over the next few weeks. At the end of your runs, cool down and spend some time stretching to reduce soreness and ease out of your training session smoothly.
Good nutrition and proper hydration are key to a successful 5k. Eating a diet of whole foods, including clean and lean proteins, organic produce, whole grains, and healthy fats is your best bet for fueling your runs. Proper nutrition is also important to prevent muscle cramps and getting enough protein will help your body strengthen and recover faster. Hydration is also vital, but beware of sugary sports drinks that are loaded with more dye, processed sugars, and artificial additives than hydrating electrolytes. Instead, drink plenty of water, coconut water, and smoothies with clean protein like Orgain plant-based protein powder and eat hydrating fruits and veggies to replace nutrients and electrolytes your body sweats out during training. This collagen and coconut smoothie is perfect for hydrating after a run and tastes like a vacation- the perfect way to end a workout!
Make your pre and post-workout meals count. Knowing what to eat before and after training sessions is super important to the success of your training plan. Post workout protein in particular supplies your body with everything it needs to rebuild tissue and muscle after each training session and can help you feel less fatigued or sore. Drinking a post-run smoothie or eating a high protein snack within 45 minutes of your run can assist greatly with recovery. Stay on track while rewarding your progress with post-run desserts that are as healthy as they are yummy… in fact, we’ve got five desserts for runners just like you!
Set yourself up for a win. We think it’s awesome that you are embarking on your first 5k race and you should too! Running is not only wonderful exercise, it’s also a great mental outlet after a day spent sitting at a desk looking and at a screen. So, take this race as an opportunity to build a new lifelong wellness habit – you got this! Stay focused on your progress and don’t forget to enjoy every minute of it.