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5k Training Guide: Week 1

If you have never done a 5k run or are out of practice the first week of training should be a (re)introduction to running.

It will be relatively easy and just get your body used to moving quicker than a walking pace. Use this week to gauge your speed and the kind of time you aspire to achieving for the 5km. You may well ache for a day or two after each training session. This is completely normal and as you continue to train during the programme the less you will ache, so there is a big incentive to keep training. Stretching your calves, hamstrings, quads and hip flexors before and after each session will help with your recovery and stop you aching as much. Try to leave a day or 2 between each session. This will allow your body to fully recover and allow you to train at your full potential during each session.

We recommend that you run on a Tuesday, Thursday and then do your strength and conditioning session on a Saturday or Sunday

Session 1

Session will last 20 minutes. It is very simple and just to get you moving.

Run 30 seconds
Walk 90 seconds
Repeat this 10 times

This will help you start to recruit the appropriate energy systems so your body can begin to adapt to the training. The running phase should not be flat out. It should be a steady jog at a comfortable pace. The walking phase is 'active recovery' letting your heart rate come back down and your breathing to return to nearly normal.

Session 2

The 2nd running session of the week is designed to increase the amount of time you are running and decrease your rest time. It will also last for 20 minutes.

Run 45 seconds
Walk 75 seconds
Repeat 10 times

By increasing the time running and reducing the time walking you will start to push your body slightly further out of its comfort zone. Whilst this should by no means be very difficult you should feel relatively tired towards the end of the session. If possible try to lift the pace of the run phase. The walk phase can be as slow as you like as long as you are still moving.

Session 3

The 3rd session of the week is a circuit session designed to recruit as many muscles in the body as possible. You use all your muscles when running so by strengthening your upper body and core you will help yourself become a better runner. Each exercise should be repeated for 1 min with no rest between each exercise. At the end of each circuit you can rest for 1 minute.

  • Bodyweight squats- Feet shoulder width apart, all the weight through your heels, sit back like you are going to sit on a chair, then stand back up.
  • Calf raises- Stand on a step with your heels over the egde. Let your heels drop just below the step then squeeze up on to tip toes, pause and repeat.
  • Press ups (do these on your knees if they are to tough on your toes)-Hands just past shoulder width apart, brace your core so your lower back doesn't sag.
  • Hip bridges- Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Push through your heels and lift your hips into the air squeezing your glutes. lower down slowly and repeat.
  • Plank (on your knees if necessary) lie on your front with your elbows under you shoulders. Lift up your core so your toes and elbows (forearms) are the only parts of your body in contact with the floor. If this is too difficult drop your knees straight down and maintain that position.
    Repeat this 3 times with 1 minute rest between each circuit.

Enjoy your sessions and if you can recruit a friend to train with even better!

Louise Whelan is cofounder of fit8. The fit8 and Time & Leisure 5k Run in aid of The Wimbledon Guild will take place at Warren House, 11am on 19 May

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