23 answers

I Want to Run a 5K

I've been thinking lately about doing something for myself, achieving a personal goal. I reached back into my dusty hope chest and pulled out my "wish I could" list. I've always wanted to run a 5k but never attempted it. I'm not in the best shape but I believe it would be such a rejuvenating accomplishment. I'm wondering if anyone has ever gone from meagerly active to 5k runner? How did you get started? Did you prepare and train on your own? How did you find a race? Is this a crazy idea for an out of shape 34 year old with two children under 5?

What can I do next?

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I agree!! Just do it!! I began running a few years ago and used the couch to 5K running program (google it) and it was a great way to start! I also have friends that I meet and run or walk with or go to an exercise class to hold me accountable for going. Good luck to you!

Not a crazy idea - go for it!!

This summer I started running. I was mostly inactive and out of shape. I have a toddler too. But I decided I wanted to do it and started the Couch 2 5k program (look it up online) and it worked! It was a bit slow for me though, so I did it quicker. Definitely sign up for a race before you even start training - it's great motivation knowing that you have already committed to it. I trained on my own, in the evenings after son went to bed. After my first race, I was addicted and immediately signed up for a 10k. That was also a blast and then I decided I wanted to do a half marathon! Then I got pregnant and have decided to put that on hold for awhile, haha!

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I think there's a book called "Couch to 5K"?? I've never read it b/c I "taught" myself how to run. All my life I was a swimmer, but these days it's a lot easier to lace up a pair of sneakers and head out for a run than it is to find a pool, pay for entry.....

Here's what I did - I had a certain time in mind for each day I went out for a run. Usually it was 30 minutes. I would run 2 minutes, walk 5, run 2, walk 5. Next time out I might run 3 minutes, walk 5 (or 4, whatever) Keep slowly increasing the running time while you're decreasing the walking time. It took me a few months to get where I could easily run 30 minutes without walking! Now, I usually run about 45-60 minutes straight (and I LOVE it - well, OK, I don't love it every moment, but I LOVE how I feel when I'm done!) You can do it! Start slow and build up :)

EDIT - S'M - no disrespect, but a 5k in 25-30 minutes is actually pretty fast (IMO!!) That's under a 10 minute mile. 30 minutes for a 5k IS a great goal, but if it's your first you might want to set the bar a teeny bit lower (like, just finish it)

3 moms found this helpful

No, it's not too crazy. It's only a little crazy, so that's all right.

You need to get an OK from your doctor first.

Do you belong to a gym? If you do, start working on your stamina as well as your strength. Those 3.1 miles are going to seem as long as a marathon course at first!

If you don't have a gym, you can still plan and train. Check out the C25K web site. They will give you reasonable assignments for each day. If you need to modify them, that's all right; it will just take a little longer.

You also want to look at what you're eating. You need healthy foods to give you the energy you'll need. Don't be afraid of good carbs.

What kind of shoes do you have? You need good athletic shoes AND good socks. They don't have to be the most expensive, but they have to be good quality. Is there a store in your area where they can look at your feet and your gait and recommend what would be best for you? (I'm basically a thrift-store person for clothing and shoes except for my athletic shoes. Then I'm willing to spend up to $100.00 - which isn't expensive, as you'll find out.)

Don't try to be trained in a week! Your children need you alive. Slow and steady is the way. Get someone to help you measure a one-mile distance inside your gym (say, so many times around the perimeter of the basketball court) or around your neighborhood. Then try walking a distance just far enough to be a little work for you. Try to improve on that bit by bit until you've worked up to a mile. When that seems comfortable, add on to it. If you can keep track of what you do every day, you will know when to reward yourself. Always take water with you when you practice.

Look online for a local runners' group that posts races coming up in your area. You can also ask where you buy your shoes. And... it's perfectly fine to WALK 5ks. It's a great way to start. You can add jogging/running as you can. A young mama friend of mine does her outdoor training with two children in a jogging stroller, which is great because it adds a bit of resistance (just a bit?).

For what it's worth, I'm much older than you are, and about as naturally active and athletic as a marshmallow, but I started doing 5ks and an occasional 10k three or four years ago. I'm out of it now because of an injury, but I hope to get back to it next spring. This pastime is definitely habit-forming! And it's fun. I feel SO good when I've finished a race (even though I'm always in everybody else's dust). And it's great to see moms and dads doing it with their children.

3 moms found this helpful

Go for it!!! Since I have started running I have met so many other friends that also run and it helps to have people to share this with.

I'm 31 with a 5 year old and a 3 year old. I "sneak" in 3 runs a week, one on Wed, Fri, and Saturday. They should be spaced a day apart, but they are the only days my husband can watch the kids. I started running and walking a mile, then it got longer and longer. I run my long runs on Satudays and this past Saturday I ran 8 miles for the first time. I have done 3 5 K's and now I'm training for a half marathon in February. I started running in June of this year with little activity before that.

YOu just have to tell yourself that you want to do it. Get some "cute" running clothes. Load up your MP3 player with great songs. Find a running plan and hit the road.

Runnersworld.com has some great info. Mapmyrun.com is a great site to map out your run either before or after your run to see how far you've gone. If you have a smart phone then there are several great apps that will track your distance pace and time for you. Couch to 5 K is a great training plan and there are several others out there as well.

When you start out don't run too fast because you won't go very far. Work on your distance and then you can work on your time. Sign up for a 5 K as soon as you can run 3 straight miles...it will keep you wanting to run and sign up for more races. I have to warn you that it is super addicting!!! One last thing, decide when you want to run during the week and stick to it. Make it an appointment for you as "me" time. In the summer I ran every other day because my husband was home then. Now I have to work around his class schedule and even if it's raining on one of my running days I keep my running clothes of and run the minute there is a break in the rain.

That's all...good luck with it and pm if you have any questions :-)

1 mom found this helpful

Good for you!! You can do it. If following a program helps you, then pick one that someone's mentioned here. Otherwise, make up your own that works for you. If you do better with a workout partner, then find one.The important part is to get out there and just keep moving - walking/jogging/running. Then slowly push yourself to do a little more and a little more.

I was out of shape and I started by walking each day, then I bought a bike and started exploring my new city, then I started jogging a bit. Then I decided to run a full mile...and it didn't feel good, until I finished. I had only run 3 miles once when I ran my first 5k and the crowd kept me moving and it felt good, to finish. I trained by myself and I still run by myself (27 years later!). I'm still not fast (actually slower than ever now) and I don't run far (3-5 miles) but it's been great for my physical and mental health over the years.

It's OK to give yourself several months to work up to a 5K. You might want to pick a Spring race. Google should give you races in your area. Otherwise check with running clubs or organizations in your area. If you're going to be running outside in MI, you want to be sure to have the right clothing to stay comfortable in the cold, or that will be an easy excuse to stop! If you are running indoors, pick a place and times that will fit your life as well as possible.

Do not worry about times! Success is crossing the finish line!!

1 mom found this helpful

This is NOT a crazy idea. It's a wonderful idea. My sister ran the 5k with my daughter for Girls on the Run. She just increased her speed and length on the treadmill until she was doing the 5K and her timeframe was to do it in 45 minutes because, like I said she was running with my daughter - who was 8 at the time (GOTR is 3rd - 5th grade). I'm not sure what adult 5k timeframes are, but at Girls on the Run people will finish anywhere from like 30 minutes to an hour and 1/2.

Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Woo hoo! Good for you! NOT CRAZY! Be proud of yourself for wanting to make a healthy change in your life and think of the example you'll be to your children. Instilling these values at there young ages is one of the best things you can do. I'd say just start walking and jogging then running. I haven't read the other posts, but I am sure some direct you to resources. There are so many apps and logs and blogs... Just look for them. And then keep that 5k as your goal. Goals help motivate. I just had to let you know that I am very proud of you. Just stop thinking and get doing!

You should totally do it and yes, you will feel really good about it afterwards, even if you walk some or come in with more minutes than you wanted!

I used to be pretty in shape, but I was never a runner...then I got a little bit out of shape again! I decided this spring that I was going to do as many 5K as I could this summer and just do my best. I trained, but not really. I mean it wasn't hard core and I didn't follow any specific plan, but I have heard of that Couch to 5K book and heard it's good. I like to run on the treadmill, which I know is weird to some people but my personal theory is this...if I just decide to run outside I know I'll start slacking BUT if I run on the treadmill and put the speed up then I know I HAVE to run or I'll fall down...and no one wants that! ;)

Finishing a 5K in 30 minutes or less is a hefty goal...that's pretty fast. I ran 4 races I think this summer and I knocked about 3 minutes or more off my time each time, and I was really happy about that. I haven't made it in under 30 minutes yet, ( my last one was about 35 mins) but someday I hope to! Also the terrain of the course makes a difference on your time too. You might look at the course before you sign up and see if it's particularly hilly or not. Even hills that look small from your car take a lot more umpf than you think!

I would just google 5Ks in your area and a lot will probably pop up. You're getting close to the end of the season but there will probably be a Thanksgiving one and maybe a Christmas one in your area. I know the Arthritis Foundation does a Jingle Bell run in multiple cities and that is usually Nov or Dec.

Also, you may want to find a friend to run it with you. It really does help to have some one else to motivate you and run with you. Either way though, you can do it! I'm an out of shape 35 year old with 2 kids under 5 and I'm working on it every day! I'm hoping to do at least one more before the first of the year as well! Good luck, you'll do better than you think you will, I promise!

I agree.....couch potato to 5k worked well for a couple of friends of mine.

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