First thing's first, a 5k is 3.1 miles. Depending on your level of fitness and running proficiency, 3 miles can be nothing or may seem like a marathon. Either way, these running tips will help make your first 5k foray a success.

Spread the word about your 5k

Consider sharing your goals with colleagues and through social media. The more people that know, the more you will be held accountable to your 5k goal. This includes signing up! The sooner you have a finite goal, the sooner you can find a Training plan that fits your lifestyle.

5k training plans are usually about 4-8 weeks depending on your fitness level, so be sure to give yourself enough time to train before the date of your race.

Make it easy

Step back—what makes it hard to get out for a Run? Kids? Low energy after work? Finding that second sock? Think about what holds you back from making it out for a run and be strategic about breaking down those barriers. The easier you can make it on yourself, the more likely you will be to follow through with your training plan and achieve your goals.

Frame how you think about your runs

Are you going out for a 2-mile run or heading out for a 20-minute run? There are many training plans out there. It’s best to figure out whether it’s psychologically easier for you to go for distance or time. Think about whether it is easier to focus on miles or minutes, and what that means for you. Since running is such a mental sport, simply taking a different approach can make all the difference.

Your body is your vehicle

There is only one way to achieve a personal best time, and that’s with a healthy, injury-free body. Even if you are training for a shorter distance, taking care of your body is an important part of training and achieving your highest level of fitness. Treat yourself like the athlete you are! Nutrition, sleep, and self-care can mean the difference between flying through your run or barely making it through.

You may want to run an even greater distance

Most beginner 5k training plans cap out around 5-6 miles. There’s a reason for this. Running farther than you will have to on race day helps prepare you both mentally and physically. Your body is making important physiological adaptions for running that will help you at any distance.

With these Tips in mind, go ahead and search for a local 5k and sign yourself up. The sooner you commit, the more time you will have to train and the more prepared you can be for race day.

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