This post has been sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Photos: Casey Marie Photography
If you would have told me 10 years ago that I would run 5+ 5K’s, a couple of 10K’s and a half-marathon, I would have told you you were CRAZY. I never thought of myself as a runner. I grew up very active, playing volleyball and cheerleading but running just wasn’t in the cards for me. Or, so I thought.
One of the first 5K’s I did was because I was basically forced into it as part of a work commitment. I love a schedule so I simply did some Googling and found this awesome schedule to train for a 5K.
I’ll never forget the first time I went out to just run 1 mile to see if I could do it. We were living at our condo in Homewood and of course the first thing we had to conquer was running up a HUGE hill. Talk about an intimidating start.
Eric ran it with me to help me learn a good pace, how to breathe and stay relaxed. If it weren’t for him, I don’t know that I would have ever gotten out and done that first mile. Each time he would start to hear me breathing heavy breaths or holding my breath, he would say things like, “nice and slow,” or “take deep inhales.”
I am so glad he went with me on that first run, which brings me to the first point of this post. If you want to train for a 5K and have never run before or taken a long break, it makes it SO much easier to find a neighbor, sibling, significant other or friend to help you along.
So, with that said, let’s dive right into how to train for a 5K from a non-runner:
- Grab a partner for motivation & fun! This is a great chance to multi-task…you can catch up with a girlfriend and get in your training or even listen to a podcast to help you learn something new.
- Train on tougher terrain than where your race will be held. Speaking from experience here, folks! I thought training on the hills of Birmingham would be great preparation for my first and only half-marathon…WRONG! If you are doing a 5K in your city or another city, check out the map and elevations and train prepared!
- FUEL your body. Bananas are your friend! Cramps and soreness often come from lack of potassium. You can get them and other fruits and veggies in large quantities to have at the ready at Sam’s Club, so you can have a banana each day of the week. I eat a banana EVERY morning for breakfast, typically with some kind of nut butter for added fuel. You can also enjoy this workout recovery smoothie I posted earlier this week.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! If you’ve been around the blog for more than a hot minute, you know I’m ALL about the water. I try to always have a bottle of water with me. I loaded up on the large pack of Dasani® water bottles last time I was at Sam’s Club to easily grab on the go!
- Stretching & foam rolling is key! I wish someone would have filled me in on foam rolling years ago. My personal trainer from Homefit got me started doing this about 9 months ago and it makes a world of difference for tight, knotted up muscles. Please make sure that you account for time to foam roll and stretch after each run to help your muscles stay in tip-top shape.
Now, I run for a quick cardio exercise for fun to get outside with Leyton or a girlfriend. I don’t have any races scheduled soon but I have gotten where I don’t hate running anymore and for me, that is really saying something! My favorite part about running is that it’s free and you can do it anywhere whether you are at home or on the road. All you need are your tennis shoes!
I have partnered with The Coca-Cola Company to share these tips with you guys and they have a fun sweepstakes running right now about 100 Ways to Summer. Make sure you head over here to enter to win!
What are your tips to train for a 5K? What do you wish you would have known before you’d done it?