How to Get 5K Ready

Running is no joke. It is an all-body workout that tones our bellies, legs, arms, and all the jiggly stuff in between. When we really want to push ourselves, we sign up for a run.

That's what I did. Two weekends ago, I completed my first 5K in Prospect Park as a charity run for CHiPs, which is a soup kitchen and women's shelter in Brooklyn. 

By no means am I an expert, I still have a long way to go. But I would love to share some tips learned from my new experience.

shannatylerrun

Invest in a Good Sneaker. Footwear was one of the first purchases I invested in for running. Running without the proper support is a huge no-no and a guaranteed way to injure yourself. 

According to Daily Running Tips, what makes a good running shoe is fit, cushioning, stability, flexibility, breathability, and weight. Finding a shoe that meets all the requirements is similar to finding a soul mate. 

I looked for all of the above in my shoe shopping. In my search, I found the following two brands and shoes that suited me best: Mizuno's Wave Prophesy 5 and Adidas Pure Boost X (pictured above). 

With these, I find I run with good support and comfort on my feet. Investing in a good sneaker is well worth it, guys! 

Download a Running App. Since we listen to music on our phones, it makes sense to have a tracker in the background. 

I've used a few running apps from Nike+ to Garmin Connect, however nothing has impressed me more than the FitBit app.

It automatically tracks when I start activity, which is in this case, running. It also tracks my heart rate, my distance, and my calories. It also lets me brag about it to my friends, which is always a plus :) 

But honestly, downloading an app is a visual way of tracking our progress and also patting ourselves on the back! 

 Photo via Pinterest 

Photo via Pinterest 

Take Time to Stretch. As a yoga teacher-in-traninig, we all know how big I would be on stretching before and after any cardio. The benefits of flexibility protect against injury in running and also prepare us for what's ahead on the big day of a 5K. 

In yoga, there are many great poses for runners. My personal favorites are triangle and pigeon pose. To check out some more, click on this article from Active. 

Taking the time to stretch is a necessity before a run to prepare our muscles for what's ahead and after a run to ease any tension. We have to remember to make time for it and do it! 

Slow and Steady Wins the Race. Last but certainly not least, let's talk about pace. Pacing ourselves is so important before a run.

When questioning real runners like the lovely Diana Kmir, Diana told me to make sure to pace myself. I figured out how right she was on the day of my run. 

In ChiP's 5K, I noticed that I eventually passed the people who ran fast in the beginning mile. That's because I made sure to pace myself and not let myself go beyond my limits. In the end, I finished in 31 mins and 26 secs. 

Making a good time is not worth risking an injury. In our runs and eventual 5Ks, a steady pace wins the race. 

Now let's run! Getting ready to run includes the above but starts first with the attitude. 

Our runs should be a way for us to feel empowered and inspired. We are making a life-changing commitment for our bodies and minds. Let's get out and run! 

-ST