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If you’re a running beginner, then running your first 5k is a great way to challenge yourself and discover the benefits running can bring to your life. Conquer a 5k and you're one step closer to being able to overcome the ultimate running challenge: a marathon.

But for those of your who haven’t prepared for a running race before, here are some tips on how to train for a 5k:

Make a Plan…And Stick To It!

Set realistic training goals and make sure you are loyal to them. If you have a busy lifestyle but tell yourself you’re going to run every morning, you’ll fall at the first hurdle. When training for a 5k you need to make sure that your plan is manageable and consistent.

Find Your Tribe

Changing your habits, and finding the inspiration to run when it’s cold and wet can be challenging at the best of times. Find a community where you can train and exercise together. You’ll motivate one another and have fun doing it.

Find Fresh Ways to Train

Classes like RUN TBC wake your body up and work out all of your running muscles. Make sure you keep things fun as the more fun you have, the more you’ll want to keep training!

Visualise Your Carrot

Training for a 5k is different to general exercise because every workout has a purpose, and it’s much more important not to skip a session. To keep yourself going, make sure you have your motivations clear – whether it’s the shiny medal at the finish line, the health benefits, or just taking part.

Step by Step

Don’t overdo it. If you're training for a 5k, the last thing you want to do is to burn yourself out or injure yourself as this will set you back massively. Make sure you ask the advice of a professional or personal trainer, and be sure to start at the beginning with a proper warm-up and gradually work up to running longer distances.

The Tortoise and the Hare

Practise focusing on running further rather than harder. Include cross training so that you don’t over strain your muscles, and make sure you schedule in your rest days.

Mix It Up

Changing up how you train for a 5k will keep you motivated. Switch between cross training, running, and strength training. Add a bit of yoga or swimming to your routine. Variety in your workouts will exercise more muscle groups and make you stronger.

Don’t Compare!

Your running style is your own. Forget how fast or far other people run, everyone has different speeds and strengths. Don’t compare yourself to anyone except you and focus on improving your own time. How fast or slowly you progress varies from person to person. The key to success is to stay focused on your own improvement, no one else’s.

Power Yourself

To be able to train for a 5k, you need to be fuelling yourself with the right foods. If in doubt, always seek professional nutritional advice. Try to get a good balance of carbohydrates and proteins. Eating healthily will make a huge difference to your energy levels and workouts.

Get Some Rest!

We can’t say it enough. REST! Training for a 5k is as much about allowing your body to recover as it is improving your running. Resting means your body can grow stronger and your workouts will improve.

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