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Prep for a 5k with this 7 week plan

Diane Gallagher
Features Writer

It is the time of year when everyone is talking about different 5K events that they are signing up for. So, you have been convinced to sign up for a 5K, but signing up is the easy task. Are you actually ready for a 5K run/walk, which is 3.1 miles?
A seven week 5K training schedule, found on the Mayo Clinic’s website (http://www.mayoclinic.com), was created by Jeff Galloway, lifetime runner, All-American collegiate athlete and member of the 1972 US Olympic Team in the 10,000 meter race. Although the training program is geared more toward beginners, anyone who wants to complete a 5K race can utilize the program.
This training schedule includes running, walking and resting in order to decrease the risk of injury. Remember, if you are a beginner it is a good idea to run or walk slowly at first in order to help your body become acclimated to its new 5K training schedule. As with all new workout regiments, it is highly recommended that you seek the advice of your physician before starting the program.

When preparing for a 5K run, make sure to pace yourself and incorporate days of rest so that your body does not become too strained. The above chart is one training schedule you could follow.
When preparing for a 5K run, make sure to pace yourself and incorporate days of rest so that your body does not become too strained. The above chart is one training schedule you could follow.

A couple of things to notice about this run/walk schedule are:
1. One day a week should be a day of rest from exercise, giving your muscles time to recover. On this schedule it is Friday; however, you can rearrange the day off to better fit into your busy schedule.
2. Another day of the week can either be a second day of rest or you can walk at your choice of distance and pace.
Now that your training is complete, here are a few tips that will help you maximize the enjoyment of your 5K experience as well as make your 5K event fast and stress-free.
• Get sleep two nights before the race. The night before the race pre-race nerves may set in and interrupt your sleep. Take the day before as a day of rest and relaxation so that you are ready to perform on race day.
• Try to eat about two hours before the race. Keep the meal simple, like a bowl of oatmeal with dried fruit, a sports bar, or a bagel with peanut butter. Be sure to include water or sports drinks if it is warm outside to give you the electrolytes you need, and if coffee is part of your normal routine drink that as well.
• Get to the race location about an hour early. There is a lot to be done on race morning including parking, packet pick-up, waiting in line for the restroom and warming up.
• Warm up before the race. About 25 minutes prior to the race, get warmed up. Start with an easy jog, and then slowly build your pace. Stretch any tight muscles after your warm up.
• Remember to pace yourself. A lot of racers give their best effort in the first mile, leaving two more to go. It is best to start conservatively and build your speed throughout the run. If you start the race at too fast a pace, your body works too hard too soon and loses stamina after the first mile, making your overall time slower and the experience more stressful.
• Enjoy yourself. On race day, let go of any comparisons to other runners. You have done the training, and if you focus on your goal of getting to the finish line, you will arrive.
If you are interested in finding 5K’s that are in the area visit http://www.roadracerunner.com.

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