Health & Fitness

How To Prepare For A 5K

With an increasing number of people taking up running as we hit summer, 5k runs have become more popular than ever. The short, manageable distance can be achieved by anyone who puts their mind to it and they provide people with the running foundations to run greater distances in the future.

Emily Cole, master trainer at Virgin active Walbrook, one of the sponsors of the world famous 5k, The Color Run Presented by Skittles, provides her ten top tips for those looking to train towards a 5k.

  1. When training for a 5k run, I would recommend giving yourself around six weeks to fully prepare

  2. For new runners, make sure you build your training up slowly, increasing your speed and distance at a steady rate. This will help avoid injury

The 5K Color Run has become a global sensation

  1. Motivate yourself with a training partner. Whether your partner is a more experienced runner of new to the sport, having someone to run with will not only help push yourself, but will make training more enjoyable

  2. Always set goals when training for an event. These should be specific, achievable and realistic within the time frame. Without goals, training has a lack of direction and purpose meaning the performance outcome will not be fulfilled to its potential

  3. For the first two weeks of training, figure out what works for you. Work out how far you can run before you begin to struggle and then keep a note of how this improves with time. Once you’ve worked out your perfect speed and style, you can start aiming for your first 5k distance

  4. Week three and four of your training should consist of interval sessions. Interval training will help you improve your stamina, allowing you to run further and quicker. Look to complete two interval sessions a week within this period

  5. For week five and six, why not step up the intensity with hill sprints. Hill sprints not only vary the type of running you are doing but will work your body harder, improving stamina and strength in the long run. This will make it easier to run through the pain for those last few metres. Try 10 to 12 hill sprints of 10 to 12 seconds each, twice a week

  6. DON’T overdo it! Always include rest days during the week to allow your body to recover. I would recommend two rest days a week

  7. Strength training is vital when training for any run. This helps prepare the body for impact and will reduce the possibility of injury. Try three sets of 8-10 Lunges on each leg and 8-10 squats, using a weight that you feel comfortable using

  8. Whilst all individuals are different, I would recommend the following weekly plan:

a. Two strength session per week

b. Three run sessions per week. The run session do not have to be any longer than 30 minutes at a time

c. Two rest days in between

For more information about The Color Run Presented by Skittles in the UK visit www.thecolorrun.co.uk, and join in the chat on social using #ColourMeHappy and #Happiest5k

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