Get Ready for the Cambridge Main St Classic Ford 5K Run/Walk
Written by: Kelli Koch
CAMBRIDGE, Ohio, Aug. 7, 2012 – Lace up your shoes and head to the start line of the Cambridge Main Street/Classic Ford 5K Run/Walk on Sat., Oct. 6, in conjunction with the Annual Cambridge October Fall Festival.
With the race more than eight weeks away, there is still time to train for the event. Although running can be intimidating, with a little consistency and a lot of determination, even the out-of-shape can train to run a 5k in as little as eight to 10 weeks.
A 5k race is 3.1 miles and is a great place to start for those who want to get in shape and edge into running. The following tips can help get a beginning runner on the right path to the finish line.
Do basic training
Before starting a training program, Kelli Haney, an Exercise Physiologist at Southeastern Med, recommends everyone visit a physician for a physical exam to make sure it is safe to start a running program. After receiving the okay from a physician, plan on an eight- to 10-week training program. Two training guides Haney recommends are Hal Higdon’s 5K Training Guide and the Couch to 5K Program.
“Everyone starts at a different exercise level,” Haney said. “It’s important to start slow and work your way up. My favorite quote is, ‘You want to back your car up slowly out of the garage, not full throttle.”
According to active.com, if you have never tried a running program before, you may want to start with an eight-day walking routine before you start to run. Walk for 20 minutes the first four days, then walk for 30 minutes the next four days. When walking becomes a breeze, add in running intervals. Try a 30-minute circuit of running for two minutes and then walking for four minutes five times in a row. You may want to follow this routine three times a week until you are comfortable.
Each week, add a minute to the running time and subtract a minute from the walking time. Keep it up until you are running the whole 30 minutes, if you are able. Ideally, you should be able to maintain a conversation while you’re running; your breath should never be ragged or frantic.
Keep safety in mind
Training gradually and safely are the keys to long-term success. Also, taking days off from running is just as important as time spent training. “If you find a training guide that you like, remember you can always modify it to fit your exercise level,” Haney said. “You don’t want to start off too hard or you may injure yourself. Incorporate strength training to your program and rest is important.”
While training, it’s extremely important to warm up and cool down. “You should warm up at least 5-10 minutes before a brisk walk or run,” Haney said. “This can be done at a slower paced walk then increase your speed. It’s also important to cool down after exercise to bring your heart rate down slowly, and always stretch after exercise to reduce muscle soreness.”
Set realistic goals to stay motivated
A 5K race is a goal most beginning runners will be able to achieve. Forget about being the fastest runner during your first race. Go at a pace that’s comfortable for you. Just focus on having fun and finishing the race if you can.
Establish a running schedule. Pick the days you plan to run in advance, dedicating at least three to four days a week, with rest days in between. After you’ve drafted your running schedule, stick to it.
And allow yourself to be proud of what you’re doing. “Understand there will be ups and downs, but be proud of the fact that you are getting better and more fit daily,” Haney said. “Your training will pay off. The best feeling is when you cross the finish line and you can say ‘I did it!”
The Cambridge Main Street/ Classic Ford 5K Run/Walk will begin at 8 a.m. on Oct. 6. Registration is $20 if registered by Sept. 21. After this date, the registration fee will be $25. All participants will receive a t-shirt. To register online, please visit http://premierraces.com/viewevent.asp?eventID=553. For more information, please contact Cambridge Main Street by calling 740-439-2238 or via email email@example.com.
All proceeds from the event benefit Cambridge Main Street’s revitalization projects to make downtown Cambridge a more vibrant place to visit, work, live and play.