Be it a 5k, 10k or any distance, signing up for your first competition can be scary. You have put a great effort in improving your health and you feel stronger than ever. But you may ask, am I ready?
Completing your first organized race is a great goal in your fitness journey. It gives purpose and challenges your own perceived limits. Plus, who wouldn’t like to get that shiny medal displayed at home and social media?
How do I know I am ready?
Answer is simple, you were born ready. Ok, maybe not ready “ready” to run tomorrow. But our bodies’ amazing capacity to adapt assures you that anyone can run any distance. It “only” takes some physical and mental training.
The first step is to choose the distance and target date. Once you have set the goal, then it’s time to put in the effort to make it.
How to start training?
You can find countless running programs out there. From Couch to 5K to full marathon training programs, they all have something in common. They were designed generically so that most people could use them. And yes, in most cases they will work, but they might not be optimum for you.
A proper race training program must include several variables. Short runs, long runs, speed work, tempo, target heart rate and more. It should include cross training, to strengthen accessory muscles not directly involved in the running motion. And it should incorporate proper nutrition, hydration and recovery. If one of these pieces is lacking, your performance will not be optimum.
One generic training program may look something like this:
Tuesday 30 min slow run
Wednesday 30 min Tempo run
Friday 40 min Cross training
Saturday 30 min Speed session
Sunday Long run
However, depending on your current capacity, these may require adjustments. Do you need to work on speed or explosiveness? Do you need to work more on endurance? Do you have any muscle imbalance that may affect your running form? What is your target tempo? Can you maintain this tempo for an extended time? None of these questions can be addressed on a generic program found online.
It is important that you discuss this goal with your personal trainer. He or she knows you well and will help you choose the right event for you and design the training appropriate for it.
If you currently don’t have a personal trainer, here in Solstizio we can provide you with proven methods to achieve your personal best in any goal you set for yourself. You can download Free Marathon, Half-Marathon and Obstacle Course Race training plans from our Free Downloads section
Let’s get those shiny medals together!