How to Get in Shape for Your First 5K (Part 2)

Note that we got permission from the author to re-publish this article on our site

Part II: Targeting Common Concerns

Running Equipment

A very common concern for new runners is investing in the proper equipment. Most experienced runners and coaches would say you need nothing but a good pair of running shoes. “Running is a simple sport. All you really need is a good pair of running shoes and the will to get out of the door,” Cory Smith explains. There are so many running shoes on the market that it may be hard to identify which shoe is the best. The reality is that every person needs a different type of support out of their shoe. That is why many runners, like Cory, would recommend visiting a local running or athletic store because their you can usually find knowledgeable employees who can provide you with expert information.

Running Form

Proper running form is another common concern among new runners. Many people worry that if they start running with the “wrong” form, their progress will some how be hindered. Carl Leivers provides a simple explanation of a good running form; “It is important to make sure that you’re not wasting energy and that you’re using the correct muscles as you run. Aim to focus on good posture and keeping your feet landing underneath your hips and you should be starting from a good place”. Also, as you run regularly and begin to build and strengthen your muscles, your running form will improve.

Motivation and Consistency

One of the hardest aspects of running for some people is not necessarily the physical act of running itself but rather the mental component of running. It can sometimes be hard to find the motivation to run and to keep to a consistent training schedule. To have an effective training schedule, consistency is key. “The most important thing is consistency day in day out, week after week,” Cory Smith says. Yet do not put too much pressure on yourself. Progress at your own pace in order to see the most satisfying results.

The biggest thing that can deter people from keeping to their training schedule is when they are bored while running. If you view running as a chore, it is going to be hard to stay dedicated. So try to make running as enjoyable as possible. Listen to motivating music, podcasts, or audio books when you run. Run in new and different places each time you run. Another great way to motivate yourself while you run is to run with someone. Whether it be a friend or a group, running with people not only makes it more interesting, but it also holds you more accountable to your training.

It is important not to let common concerns keeping you from achieving your goals. Hopefully our advice here can make you a more confident and knowledgeable runner.

Carl is a USATF Level 2 Endurance Coach in Atlanta, Georgia. He specializes in helping runners find a routine and approach that works with the rest of their life so that it is sustainable and fun. His biggest piece of advice is to take everything in moderation. To find out more about Carl, visit his website at runningcoachcarl.com.

Cory is the founder and head coach of Run Your Personal Best. He is located in Santa Barbara, California. His biggest piece of advice to new runners is “You can’t force fitness, you must let it come naturally.” To find out more about Cory visit www.runyourpersonalbest.com and mention this article for 2 weeks free coaching.