Because many people will be setting out for their first race this running season, we asked Dr. Jason Karp, international running expert, author and owner of Run-Fit and Revo₂lution Running™, to tell us his top tips for training and preparing for your first 5K run.
24Life: What type of training schedule do you suggest for someone planning to run their first 5K?
Dr. Jason Karp (JK): To get ready to run a 5K, begin slowly and systematically. To start out, run for one minute, then walk for five minutes and continue this combination for 30 minutes. Over time, you can increase the minutes you spend running and decrease the minutes you spend walking. You should start with four days of running/walking per week.
24Life: What are the biggest mistakes you see in running form from a new or novice runner?
JK: Oftentimes, I see novice runners twisting their upper body as they run and letting their arms cross over the midline of the body. This causes the lower body to twist to compensate (for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction). Or, I see new runners landing with their foot too far in front of their body. This can make the heel hit too sharply and cause a braking action rather than a smooth rolling from one step to the next. It’s better to run tall, with hips over legs.
24Life: When it comes to race day, what should a new runner do before the big event starts?
JK: Make sure you wear non-cotton clothes that wick away moisture from sweating. Give yourself enough time to get to the race, pick up your bib number and warm up. Visit the restroom before the race begins. And don’t let your nerves get the best of you. You should be confident in your training program and use your A-Game.
Effort is key! Dr. Karp believes that in order to become a better runner, no matter where you’re starting from, you have to get out there and try to make an effort that you’ve never made before.
“When you get out of your comfort zone, it changes you as a person and creates a path to a better life.”
Photo credit: Copyright © Thinkstock, iStock.com – Pavel1964.