How to run a 5k

A 5k run is both a satisfying target for those who are seasoned runners and an achievable target for those who have never ran a race before. There are lots of ways to measure your distance and keep track of your running time, such as:

  • Park Run/Running Clubs - Both are one and the same. People often join a running club after doing a number of park runs. The park run is a series of free 5k runs that are hosted around the world. Routes are mapped out in the park to prevent you getting lost and are timed by the organisers of each 5k race. Most races are on Saturday mornings in variant conditions and you'll also meet a ton of people in the same position as you, whether you're trying to beat your personal best or it's your first 5k.

  • Running Apps/Smart watches - Another way to measure your run is using a running app, and these apps are free to use and will measure your distance, time and some apps (couch 2 5k) will help you progress from your first attempt to a full 5k run. With most apps you will be able to share your runs with friends or keep them private, as well as searching through a run library of routes previously ran by other runners in your local area.

Running preparation is massively important in terms of preventing injuries that could effect your running or to avoid a plateau. A simple 5 minute preparation routine and a stretch after running will help with Mobility and flexibility which will contribute to the best possible run.

Safety tips on what to do if you injure yourself while running:

  • Stop running. Trying to ‘push through’ the pain will only make the injury worse.

  • See your doctor promptly for diagnosis and treatment.

  • Treat soft tissue injuries such as ligament or muscle sprains with rest, icepacks, compression and elevation (raising the injured area above the level of your heart).

  • Do not run again until the injury has completely healed. In the meantime, switch to a low impact form of exercise that doesn’t aggravate the injury.

  • Ask your doctor, physiotherapist or other health professional for medical advice before you start running again.

  • With your personal trainer or health professional try to observe and improve running technique, in order to avoid making the same mistakes.

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