Run With It
Chances are, you're probably not training for an Ironman
competition. But even getting ready for a 5K run-which is about 3.1
miles- takes some preparation.
Whether you're starting from a sedentary lifestyle or one that
includes regular exercise, build up slowly. Experts generally
suggest increasing your activity level by about 10 percent per
Lynn Millar, Ph.D., a physical therapist and fellow of the
American College of Sports Medicine, recommends that most people
start with a program that alternates jogging and walking. Jog for
10 minutes and then walk for 10 minutes, progressively building up
to running the distance over time.
She also suggests strengthening exercises for the legs, hips and
trunk to help prevent overuse injuries. Abdominal crunches, squats
or side leg raises are all good options.
Make sure to incorporate hills as you increase the duration and
intensity of your running, in case the 5K course is hilly. Always
check out the course in advance and try a few test runs at the time
of day the race will be held.
Millar makes some common-sense suggestions: "Get some good
shoes, eat right, stay hydrated and get plenty of rest." Last but
not least, why not prepare with a sports massage from your
local Massage Envy clinic? It can help increase your flexibility
and boost your endurance.