Achieve, Woman, Girl, Jumping, Running

All of us know that cardio activities, like running, are fantastic for your health. If you are new to running, or thinking about starting, knowing where and how to begin can be the most challenging aspects of getting up and moving. The best thing to do would be to set a goal and then put together a running plan.

Even if you don’t currently run at all, it can take as few as 6 weeks to train for one of these races. Or, simply make it your goal to run 3.1 miles in 6 weeks. So, set your sites on a goal, and then follow this easy, 6-week training program.

Workout

This first week you simply wish to set your sites on getting off the couch and getting moving. Start simply by selecting four days to jog, or walk, 0.5 miles. If you choose to walk, do so at as fast a rate as you’re comfortable with.

Strength-Building

You should also plan to do two days of light strength-building. Strength-building is extremely important when training for a race as it builds the muscles needed for continual running. You do not have to lift heavy weights and bulk up. The weight of your body or, mild, free weights, will be more than enough.

Diet

During this first week it’s a good idea to also start adding healthy foods to your diet and this gives you energy as you run. Avoid greasy and heavy foods that can make you feel exhausted and drain your energy. Foods, like nuts, fruits, and vegetables are great for high nutrition energy.

Workout

Now that you’ve made it through your first week, up your mileage to 1 mile, three or four times weekly. Try to run the whole way if you can, even if it’s at a very slow pace. Make sure you stretch before, and after, so you don’t pull any muscles.

Strength-Building

Continue to strength-build double this week. Yoga is a great strength building activity because it’s a complete body exercise that many overlook. It’s also a wonderful workout for runners, because it stretches out the muscles that normally get tight, as you build your running distance.

Diet

Continue to incorporate healthy foods to your diet. You may also notice an increase in hunger as you workout more. Definitely eat when you are hungry, but keep in mind that running one mile only burns 100 calories, so snack sensibly.

Workout

You’re up to 1.5 miles now!

Strength-Building

Continue to strength-build twice per week. You may choose to add core exercises, like planking, or sit-ups. Make it a goal to plank for 30 seconds.

Diet

Continue to add healthy foods into your diet. Be sure to drink lots of water before and after you workout.

Week 4

Workout

Just three short weeks ago you could not run at all. Now you can boost your mileage to two miles, three times each week.

Strength-Building

Continue to strength-build twice per week. Attempt to board for 45 seconds.

Diet

Consider making great tasting post-workout smoothies. All you need is frozen fruit, a liquid, like fruit juice, or milk, and your good to go. Also consider adding greens to your smoothie, such as spinach, or kale – they’re jam-packed with anti-oxidants.

Workout

Almost there! Boost your mileage up to 2.5 mph. Now that you are going longer distances make sure you stretch very well before, and after, each exercise.

Strength-Building

Continue to strength-build twice per week. Attempt to plank for 60 seconds. Squats are excellent for strengthening the running muscles in your legs.

Diet

As you run more, you might begin becoming depleted of electrolytes. Potassium is an essential electrolyte for runners.

Workout

Now you are ready for the last leg of your practice. You’re up to 3 miles this week! Try to run 3 times this week, providing yourself a rest day and two strength-building days. The day before you run the 5K, it’s a fantastic idea to take a brief run, say 1 mile, just to keep your muscles warmed up.

Strength-Building

You can continue to strength-build this week. Just make sure you don’t over-do it. You don’t want to be sore on the day of the race.

Diet

Continue to eat healthy foods. A day, or two, before the race, make certain you don’t eat anything too heavy, or out-of-the-ordinary. You don’t want to have to manage an upset stomach on race day.

Hopefully, after completing your 6 weeks of instruction, you feel great, both indoors and out. Running can truly be transformative. Do not stop at 5K. From here you can continue your running routine by preserving a three mile distance. Or, if you are feeling more ambitious, you may set your goals higher and start to train for a 10K (6.2 miles) and, maybe even a Half Marathon (13.1 miles). Just continue to improve your mileage and focus on a runner’s diet and you will reach your next goal very quickly!

Start Running: 6-Week Training Plan to Build Up to 5K (3.1 Miles)

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