Couch to 5k Tips

January 25, 2010


We all know that starting a new running program can be difficult – changing old habits, setting new goals, actually making it to your runs. Usually we start out with a lot of enthusiasm and as things get tough, we can sometimes question why we started in the first place. Here are a few tips from my own personal experience that may help you improve your C25k journey.

1.Find Your Running Style – The C25k program is a great way for runners to start to find their own running style. Don’t mistaken style for technique…your style is more about how high you lift your knees, how short or long your stride is, or how hard you hit the ground. It took me a while to find my running style. I’m a pretty smooth runner, but I’m not too light on my feet. I realize that when I try to run lightly, I waste a lot energy. Now that I’m in tune with my style, I run efficiently, my body is relaxed and I have less soreness.

2.Push through the pain – As the adage says, no pain, no gain. The sooner you come to grips with the fact that you are going to be sore, your feet may hurt and even small things like sitting and standing quickly will make you wince, the sooner you will enter the promised land. Ok, not really, but half of the battle is mentally staying strong and not allowing the soreness and discomfort to defeat you. When I first started back working out, the first 3 months absolutely sucked. Shortly after that, I had a breakthrough and my body got over the shock of actually having to move. The bottom line is, it will get better and easier. *Disclaimer* If you have a real injury please see a physician, thanks.

3.Invest in decent gear – If I could do one thing differently, I would have invested in better runner gear when I first started running. If you haven’t seen my makeover, check it out here. Nothing beats a good pair of running shoes and proper fitting attire. They make your running smoother and much more comfortable.

4.Watch what you eat before runs – Food affects each of us differently. But, most of us cannot process high amounts of fat and sugar and still have a good workout. Also, be sure to stay hydrated so you can avoid the dreaded stitch.

Ok seasoned runners, what tips do you have for those running their first 5k? Is there anything you wish you had known when you first started running?

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