• Sheila Olson

Ready, Set, Plan that 5K: Cost-Effective Ways to Prepare for Your First Race


There is something so freeing and satisfying about trying new things and pushing yourself to new depths. If you’re ready to take your life to the next level, spice things up, and do so with little cost and simple hard work, you should take up running. Set a competition with yourself to complete your first 5K within a set time frame, train and prepare for it, and observe both your body and your mindset change. If you’re ready to set a 5K goal and challenge yourself, then let’s discuss what to do next.


Finding Coupons for Running Gear


Running is relatively inexpensive. All you need to get going is a comfortable pair of running shoes that fit your feet and are suitable for the kind of running you want to do. Consider the whole shoe, and research things like cushioning, weight, structure and fit.


While researching shoes, check out the technical gear (e.g., shorts, tops, tights). This gear is lightweight, weather-appropriate, and will help you stay dry and comfortable while running. They aren’t necessary right away, but as you progress in your running journey, they will become essential to staying healthy and preventing injury. To avoid racking up high costs, look for coupons that help save you a lot of money or provide cash back offers.


Choosing a Race


The 5K race is your goal. Choose a race that is inspiring, gets you excited, fits within your budget and will keep you motivated as you train. If you want something fun, there are color runs and costume runs. If you want to travel and make it a fun getaway, choose a 5K in a city you’ve never been to before. If you like the great outdoors, choose a race in the mountains or the beach with wonderful views. Many 5Ks support wonderful causes, and you will know that a portion of the funds go to a charity you support.


Staying Safe


We live in a world where information is available by the click of a button. Learning about good form and how to protect your body from injury while running is imperative. Spend some time doing research on the following topics:

  • How to build endurance while protecting your joints

  • Proper running form

  • Good running posture

  • How your feet should hit the pavement (footstrike)

  • Proper nutrition and hydration

Training


This part of preparing for a 5K is all about goals, it costs no money, and it will render results. Don’t set the unattainable goal of being a superstar marathon runner on your first run. Keep perspective as to where you are at in your journey. Establish a journey with different milestones that will motivate you to keep going. For instance:


  1. Get your body moving

  2. Run for 15 minutes (intermittently walking is fine)

  3. Run for 30 minutes (intermittently walking is fine)

  4. Run nonstop for 15 minutes

  5. Run nonstop for 30 minutes

  6. Increase your speed

  7. Run a full 5K nonstop


The overall goal should be to continuously build your endurance, strengthen muscles, increase your speed, develop lung power, and manage your breathing. As you train, you will notice a shift in your mentality. Your training will seep into other areas of your life. Running will result in the following benefits:

  • Improved mood

  • Increased flexibility

  • Better balance

  • Improved sleep

  • Sharper focus

  • Healthier heart

  • Better memory

  • Ability to resist stress

  • Willingness to take on challenges

If you’re ready for the challenge, commit today to set your goal and develop your plan on how to achieve it. Your life will change for the better. For a low cost, you can get the right gear and sign up for a race. At no cost, you can learn how to stay safe and train. All and all, you will reap numerous physical, emotional and mental benefits.


Photo Credit: Burst

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