Friday, December 31, 2010

Choosing a 5k Training Plan

     The internet is full of training schedules to assist you in preparing to run a 5k.  With so many options at your fingertips, it can be difficult to choose a 5k Training Plan.  In determining which plan is best for you, there are several factors you should consider.  You should consider your current fitness level, the amount of time you have to train, and your goals for the race.    

     Your current fitness level is an important factor, in choosing a plan to train for 5k.  If you are completely new to running, you will first need to establish a running base.  It is important to choose a plan that alternates running and walking, and starts off slow.  There are a lot of 5k training schedules that begin with a lot of walking and short bursts of running are intermingled.  These plans progress slowly, until a running base is established and you have built up enough endurance to complete a 3.1 mile or 5k run.  However, if you already have a running base established, you may want to look for a more advanced training schedule that does not incorporate so much walking in the beginning.

     The amount of time you have to train is another factor to consider, when choosing a training plan.  For example, if you have only 8 weeks before your big race, you must find a training schedule that can prepare you in 8 weeks.  There are many plans available all over the internet, which are based on a 6-8 week training schedule.  However, if you have more time, you will have the liberty of choosing a training schedule that builds up your endurance more slowly.    

     The last factor to consider in choosing a training plan, is your goal for your 5k race.  Is your goal to finish, regardless of whether you are walking or running?  Is your goal to run the entire race?  Is your goal to finish the race within a certain amount of time?  You should choose a training schedule that is best tailored to help you meet your goals.   
     What plan will you use to train for 5k and how did you choose?  Tell us in the comments.

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