1. WARM UP
Before every run, you should do a gentle warm up jog and dynamic stretches, including lunges, heel kicks, high knees, jumping jacks and sideway skips. This will make sure that all the little muscles are ready for the challenge ahead!
2. WARM DOWN
Stretching out your calves, hamstrings, and glutes properly after a 5k run will make a massive difference in preventing injuries, and will help in recovery so you can head out for another training run sooner!
3. BUILD UP
If you are building fitness, a couple of shorter 1 to 2k runs will get your heart pumping and wake up your leg muscles. You can even alternate between running for 5 minutes and walking for 2 minutes, and then work towards a continuous 5k run.
Engage your core and keep your upper body straight, pump your arms and push your hips forward. Try to land your feet beneath your hops and visualise the road coming up to meet and support your feet. These tips will help keep you springing forwards, improve posture and prevent against injury.
5. INTERVAL TRAINING
Once you’ve built up the distance to the full 5k, and you’re confident with your technique, you can start improving your speed. Interval training is really useful for this and it can often be a good idea to head to your local running track.
6. SUSTAINABLE PACE
It’s important that you know what your standard pace is. Settle into a good rhythm, where your heart rate and breath are sustainable. Use your training to discover what a manageable pace is, and stay there for the first 3km or so, then push for the final 2km.
An energy bar or banana 40 minutes before a run will allow you to digest and still have energy. Avoid foods too high in fibre to avoid stomach cramps and don’t forget to stay hydrated! Repair muscles with something high in protein within 20 minutes of exercise and replenish your blood sugar with a treat!
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