5K Training Plan

Hello, hello my lovely readers!  Welcome to 2016!!  I realize that by the time you will be reading this, we will be almost two weeks into the New Year already, but it’ll be my first post of the year, so just go with it, okay?

First off, I apologize for not writing a post last Tuesday.  Sean and I are in the midst of getting ready to move into our new house (8 more sleeps!) and we have been unbelievably busy with packing, meetings, preparation, and drive-by-creeping our house 182472 times a day.  It’s a very exciting time for us, but as you can imagine, it’s also pretty hectic.  Soon, I’ll have a dedicated office space in a fancy new house and significantly more time to dedicate to blogging.  I can hardly wait.

Instead of writing a post, I updated my About Page!  Have you seen it?  I think writing a solid About Page is one of the most challenging – and important – things about blogging.

Today, I wanted to share the 5k Training Plan that I have used twice now to return to running following an injury.  The first time was in March of 2015, when I started running again after 2 months off with a stress reaction in my shin, and the second time was about 3 weeks ago, following a major chiropractic adjustment of my twisted pelvis.  This plan could also apply to those who have taken a significant amount of time off from running, or people who have never run before in their life and want to give it a try.

Of course, I am not a doctor, and my advice – or any advice found on a blog, for that matter – should NOT EVER take the place of proper medical advice from a doctor or physical therapist.  If you’ve been injured, ask your doctor if this plan is right for you, or ask them for one that will be.  If you’re coming back from a serious injury, close this window right now and book an appointment with a physical therapist before you even consider taking any plan into consideration.

I did not personally create this plan.  It was given to me by my physiotherapist, but the version he gave me was ugly, doctor-y and hard to understand, so I simply made it simpler, prettier and added the days of the week that I like to train on.  You can adjust it to your own schedule however you’d like.

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In order for this plan to be effective, it is recommended that;

-You run at least 4 times per week (this places enough stress on the muscles to train them and build them up for all of the bad-assery to come) but no more than 6 times per week.  Remember that your muscles and joints need time to rest and heal, especially if you’re a brand new runner!

-You begin each run with a brisk, 5-minute warm-up.  Typically, I do this just by walking at a good pace, but on really cold days, I like to warm up inside with some jumping jacks, or on the stationary bike if I’m at the gym.  Speaking of running in the cold, check out these tips on what to wear for winter running.

-If you are experiencing any pain more intense than regular muscle soreness, you might want to take a rest day and then repeat the same training day again the day after.  Don’t kill yourself.  It’s supposed to be fun and challenging, not excruciating.  If you experience any severe or worrisome pain, stop exercising immediately and seek medical attention, especially if you’re returning from injury.

-If you’re a seasoned runner and you are getting bored out of your mind with the 1 Minute Run, 1 Minute Walk stage (been there), you can skip ahead a day.  For example, the second time I was doing the program, I would do 1 Run / 1 Walk x3 one day, then 1 Run / 1 Walk x5 the following day, then x7, then x9, and so on.  Don’t push yourself too hard, but your body will tell you if it’s ready.

-You cross train at least once per week!  At this early stage, this can mean anything active that is not running.  My cross training days include anything from riding my bike, snowshoeing, yoga, hiking, swimming, and working out.  Try a number of different things and see what works best for you.

 

Things that will make this program much more enjoyable;

-Get a watch.  Any old watch or stopwatch will do as long as you can easily keep track of the time you have spent running & walking, but if you’re serious about running, or training for something, I would highly recommend getting a GPS Running Watch.  I just went with a basic Garmin Forerunner 15 (it cost about $130 CAD) and it has been one of my greatest running investments.  The point is…glancing at your wrist to keep track of the time while you’re running is a lot easier (and less hazardous) than trying to keep track of the time on your phone.

-GET GOOD SHOES.  I  REPEAT.  GET.  GOOD.  SHOES.  My go-to kicks (I currently own 4 pairs of Saucony Triumphs) cost me close to $200 a pair, and they are worth their weight in gold.  Do NOT begin your running journey in your dirty old gym shoes that you’ve had since high school.  You’ll end up dealing with all kinds of nasty, painful problems.  It is a common misconception that running is a “basically free” sport.  Like anything, it requires a significant amount of investment – and proper shoes should be the first thing on the list.  Check out Ange from Cowgirl Run ’s post on How To Buy Running Shoes.

-Make a kickass playlist.  Or, listen to the ones I’ve made for you!

-Sign up for a 5k race!  There’s nothing more motivating (or daunting, depending on how you look at it) than a day on the calendar advancing closer and closer.  If it’s your first race, pick something fun and non-intimidating such as a Color Run or a Themed Run.  Check out my 6 Tips For Staying Motivated to Run if you need more of a push.

-Stay Consistent.  Try not to take more than one rest day in a row, or you might lose your motivation.  Ask me how I know.  😉

-If you’re returning from injury, check out this post from The Suzlyfe called How To Start Running After Injury.  Susie is an actual certified running coach, and she really knows her stuff.

 

Hopefully, this post proved to be valuable to some of you, whether you are returning to running, or starting up for the very first time.  I’ve done this dance a few times already, and while I’m still a fairly “new” runner myself, I have learned a lot over these past few years.  Good luck!

 

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