What is 5K? How do I get started?
The “K” in 5K stands for kilometer, which is the equivalent of 0.62 miles. Therefore, a 5K race is 3.1 miles long—a reasonable distance for beginning runners to conquer.
Most runners will finish a 5k in approximately 25 to 40 minutes.
Running your first 5k may seem daunting. Train gradually for eight weeks before your first 5k. This will make the race seem much more manageable.
Increase your speed and distance gradually. Don’t start out too fast. Easing into a training plan for a 5k won’t leave you miserable once you finally finish those 3.1 miles. Begin your 5k training by running for 20-30 minutes 3 days a week. Be sure to space out your runs throughout the week so your body has time to rest and recover.
Alternate walking and jogging on your runs. Warm up with a 5 minute walk, then begin to alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking. As you progress, you should be able to gradually begin jogging more than walking. Develop a pace that feels right for you, but keep these benchmarks in mind:
- Week 1 – 60 second jogging, then 90 seconds of walking
- Week 2 – jog for 90 seconds, then walk 2 minutes
- Week 3 – jog for 3 minutes, then walk 3 minutes
- Week 4 – jog for 5 minutes, then walk 2 minutes
- Week 5 – jog for 8 minutes, then walk 2 minutes
By week 6 of your training, you should be jogging about 2 miles without walking. In weeks 7 and 8, try to work up to jogging 2.5-2.75 miles without walking.
By week 8, you will be able to jog 3 miles!
For more information, go online to – www.nih.gov