>Running 101>How to train for my first 5k?
I’m a former, multi sport, high school athlete who has not been active for more than a decade other than chasing around young children. At 42 years of age I’ve decided to run my first 5k. I eat well and am in ok physical shape, with no health issues, but my stamina and endurance is likely lacking very much. The target date for my 5k is about 12 weeks away and I expect this to be enough time to train. Are there any good resources online or any free apps/websites or any suggestions you could post below that would help me schedule my training for this 5k? I’d like to start training no later than this weekend.
an amazing likeness
Great! There are, literally, gazillions of training plans available for 5K. Some of the best known include:
...and many, many more -- some are geared to apps you follow, others are write-ups with notes and advice -- pick one that feels right to you and your communication style. If you use a search term like "free 5K training plan" in your favorite search engine, you'll have pages of choices.
You have a lot of time in 12 weeks, and you should start with the confidence that you could run 5K tomorrow -- any reasonable fit person can complete the distance. So the goal of your training could be to build running endurance to improve your results, enjoy improving your fitness and just, generally, have a good time preparing and then racing it.
I'm partial to Hal Higdon plans and tend to point people that way -- but that is a preference, and I'm certain you'll get a lot of replies here with various opinions.
Acceptable at a dance, invaluable in a shipwreck.
milktruck has given some good links and as he says if you do a search you will find pages of different plan to choose from. I will offer my non-expert advice, I am neither a trainer or a top athlete and apologize in advance for providing with just simple basic thoughts, but this is what I would do. First the goal is to establish consistency, running at least 3x a week and perhaps daily at the start of training if you can! The first few runs do very easy slow jog, don't try for speed, just go 10 minutes out and 10 back, see how you do. If very out of shape you may need to take walk breaks, but if in decent shape you should have no issues if you take it slow enough. Maybe you will only finish a little over a mile but worry about speed and distance later. Don't be surprised if you feel sore the next day but hopefully not so bad that you can't repeat the run and perhaps add slightly to it, like a fifth of a mile. Run each day adding another fraction of a mile always at a relaxed, comfortable pace. Of course listen to your body and take a rest day or slow the distance increase if needed. Hopefully in two weeks you will have achieved the consistency goal and should be up have reached or surpassed the 5k distance in your runs. Now you can add some speed training on some days and do a long run each week of increasing distance. I would start the pace increase with farklet runs, just doing a short section of your choosing, like say "to that big tree over there", at a fast pace. See how you do and then gradually increase the length and number of these fast paced sections in your run. You can also just run the 5k distance and try to see what pace works best for the distance and see if you can improve on it. The long run should be done each week mostly at an easy pace, but some like to add a quicker pace at the end. Continue to increase the distance of the long run each week to build endurance, I think up to six miles is a good long run to prepare for a 5k. As the training gets more intense be sure have some rest days, perhaps one at the end of the week after the long run. You will need to taper, cut down the training the week before the race so you will be rested. Follow these basics or find a real plan somewhere, but good luck in your race!
"My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.”
Kicking Asphalt for 2021
Let me also toss out this: don't think back to what you ran back in the day and measure yourself against that. Too often new runners get caught in that trap. Train in the body you have now and focus on what you can do now. Milktruck gave you some good links to try; I'm a Higdon fan as well. When the race comes, enjoy the experience and celebrate that 12 weeks of training in that 5k.
Half Fanatic #9292.
I agree, COVID must really have affected all trainings t this point. However, with the vaccines rolling out, then, I think it's better now.