Reach your running goals from a 5k to a marathon
With the new year right around the corner, you may be thinking about your personal goals for 2018. Want to start running? Are you a runner already but want to up your game? Here are some tips to help you get from the couch to a 5k, or from a 10k to a half or full marathon.
Before you begin
- Always consult with your primary care provider before starting any new exercise routine.
- Choose a running/walking plan and that meets your goal and your current level of fitness. If you’re a new runner, A 5k (3.1 miles) is a great way to start. For more seasoned runners, choose a goal such as increasing mileage, pace time or beating your personal best.
- Set safe, achievable goals and advance slowly and cautiously.
Set a date
Though it may seem too early, picking a race to sign up for is a very important step. By signing up for a race ahead of time, you’ll give yourself a goal to train for. It can help you stay motivated through any potential pitfalls and keep you accountable — plus, you’ve already paid the entry fee. Choosing an event that supports a cause you care about can bring a special meaning to the whole experience.
Find a training plan that meets your running goal and follow it. Several local running stores offer beginner 5k training calendars, or look for mobile apps dedicated to getting new runners off the couch and running.
Signing up for the Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon or Marathon? Norton Sports Health hosts a free Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon training program. The 14-week training program features organized group runs, training tips and preparation. The Norton Sports Health training program gives you tools to help you meet your personal goals:
- “Speed work” nights to help you practice running hills in Iroquois and Cherokee parks to increase endurance, time and help you adapt to different environments.
- “Track work” days can help focus on pacing. This is a new addition to the training program for 2018.
- Turn-by-turn directions. If you can’t make a group run or your pace is different from the pack, it’s OK. The training guide gives you turn-by-turn directions for organized runs so you can run with confidence by yourself or with the group.
Set small goals for race day
If it’s your first 5k, half or full marathon, plan on simply finishing. If it’s your second or third race, set a a couple of finish time goals. Make one goal your ideal race time and the second a back-up goal, in case something like inclement weather causes you to lose time.