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How to Crush Your First 5k Race

Do you have dreams of walking or running in a 5K race event? If so, there are a few simple steps to follow. This is achievable no matter if you have never run a mile before, or you are a veteran athlete. The first step to success is to get your mind set on it, and put plan in place. Once you say ‘Yes!’ to running a 5K, the next steps that we’ve outlined below make it an achievable goal.

The accomplishment of completing 3.2 miles is such a great feeling, and extremely achievable. There are often 5K races in place that are easy to find near most cities, and some are even for charity or fundraisers. If you know of other people like yourself who are training for a race, it is great to train together in order to hold each other accountable and continue to stay on course while having fun as well!

Steps to completing a successful 5K:

Sign up for a race. It is great to have an end goal of a certain race on the calendar so that you know how long you have to train for it. This will also keep you on track and moving forward. If you have never run before, you may want to allow yourself a few months in order to train. If you are already a runner then you won’t need as much time prior to the race, maybe only a few weeks.

Get your plan in place. A well-balanced plan of attack is important. This should consist of run days, maybe some light strength-training, stretching, rest days, and cross-training for cardiovascular benefits. Training is more than just running every single day. In fact, this may lead to physical injuries. Make sure to plan in at least one rest day per week, two to three strengthening days, daily stretching and about a 10% increase in your run distance per week.

Take care of yourself. You may notice new soreness in your muscles from using them in a new way, but there are things you can do to help relieve muscle soreness and body aches. A bath soak with Himalayan sea salts or Epsom salts after your run can do wonders to help muscles unwind. They are known to reduce swelling and calm lingering body tension. You can also use essential oils like eucalyptus, bergamot and lavender which help to relax sore muscle groups.

Extreme pain or swelling is not a normal sign and should be assessed. If there are any setbacks or issues that come up along the way, it is best to address those as soon as possible by visiting your medical provider for an assessment or guidance.