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Run, Lift And Eat Properly For The 5 K Race

3594 words - 14 pages

Run, Lift and Eat properly for the 5K raceFive kilometers is equal to 3.1 miles. To many people, this distance may seem too far to even walk, let alone run. I am not suggesting either of the two. I suggest getting your body into the best shape of your life, and racing this distance, commonly referred to as the 5K.The beauty of the 5K is that it takes all comers. It's the perfect introductory distance for novice racers, as well as a challenging test of strength and speed for the most competitive runners. The 5K race can also be a useful part of a larger training program, building speed for runners who primarily run longer distances. No matter what your ability, a hard 5K tests your capacity to maintain a fast pace over distance.Training for this classic distance requires you to put in a careful balance of both mileage and speed work. Over the years, I have seen that this is the best philosophy for the 5K. These programs are available in four categories, from beginner to competitive, and you should have at least six months of running under your belt.Keep in mind, of course, that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all training program. While the schedules offered here are solid and dependable, you should feel free to tinker with them and make them your own. Adapt them to your own rhythms.By following one of these schedules, you will develop gradually through four training phases: endurance, strength, speed and tapering. Before you embark on one of the programs, though, be sure you're in shape to follow that particular training schedule. Each program includes a schedule for a "pre-training week" to help you gauge your fitness. If you are not already able to run the mileage for that week comfortably, take a few weeks to build gradually to that level, adding one mile to your long run every week. You should be able to run that pre-training schedule comfortably for four to five weeks. Then lace up, you're ready for the road.Beginning runners, take note: I recommend that runners put off training for races until their bodies have adapted to the strain of running. Tendons and ligaments can be injured all too easily if you go from ground-zero to 5K-racing too quickly. Before you start training for your first race, establish a six-month foundation of running. During that base stage, slowly build through easy, consistent training runs as your body adapts to the rigors of the road. After that, come back and tackle one of my beginner training programs.The advanced program includes many weeks with no days off, and the competitive program has no days off at all. Instead of days of complete rest, these schedules build in easy days of relatively light mileage. There exists a philosophical difference in approach to training -- whether to take the day off entirely or simply to go light on the miles. For the advanced and competitive schedules, we've chosen the latter. For those who would prefer the former, however, those light days can be replaced by days of...

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