Running for Beginners: 10 Keys to Training for a Race (Part 1)

keys to success
Congratulations! You decided to run a 5K race or a 10K race.   Or maybe you are still thinking about it, and just want to know some good training concepts.  Either way, the following will help you be a better runner, and will help you look good when you run in a race, even if it is your first one.

Here are 10 Keys for Beginners to Train for a 5K or 10K Race (Part 1)

* Build a Base – If you are just starting out, then right now your focus is to building up to a decent running base.  A running base means that you are able to run at least 3 miles three times a week.  If you are not able to do that, then just keep working at it, and follow the newbie running schedule here.
* Have Goals – Having goals for the short term as well as the long term is important to continually improve, and to have some purpose to your running program.  If you do not have any clear goals, then how will you know if you have succeeded or not?
* Less can be more – Remember that you should not over do it.  This is one of the biggest mistakes new and experienced runners make.  Limit any increases in running to 5 to 10% per week.  Your body needs to build up slowly, and if you do too much too fast, you are much more likely to get injured, fatigued, or ‘burned out’.  You want to give yourself a good workout, and you want to push yourself, but you also need to
* Recovery – Rest and recovery can be just as important as the training process itself.  On your easy and off days your body is repairing the muscles and is recovering from the hard work you did during the hard days.  Make sure that you add enough recovery time to your training schedule, and  never run two hard days back to back.  It is okay to run an an easy day before or after a hard day, but you may also want to do some cross training on these days instead of running.
* Consistency – Try to be consistent in your running program.  If you work up to running a marathon, and then you just stop running altogether, then what have you really accomplished in the end?  Consider your running program for the long term.  Try to do some running or physical activity five or six days a week for 52 weeks of the year.  If you decide to taper off from running some, then still try to run once or twice a week, and maintain your base.  While having some change in the routine can be a good way to make your running more enjoyable, it is equally important to maintain this base endurance as well.  If you have the mindset that fitness and running is just a normal part of your lifestyle, then you will have no trouble with this important key to running.

I hope you find these tips useful in your training for your upcoming race.  In the next post of this series, I will share tips as listen to your body, and train to race.

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