By AARON DORKSEN – 3G Cardio Fitness Editor
Setting a goal to run in a 5K race is a great way for people trying to get into better shape to motivate themselves. And, a treadmill is a great way to train for the big race.
Let’s Jump Into the 5K Treadmill Training Tips
Running in a 5K race, which is equivalent to 3.1 miles, is a workout goal that’s attainable for many people without being overwhelming.
Most experts agree that six to 12 weeks is ample time for an average person who hasn’t done a lot of exercising to train and be able to finish a 5K race. During that time period, slowly increase the distance that you run without overdoing it.
Ideally, a novice will mix walking and running, eventually running more and more. The key is to build up gradually so that you don’t wind up with an injury.
Why use a treadmill?
A treadmill allows you to train rain or shine, night or day, in the safety and convenience of your personal workout room.
It’s advised to also run outside when possible, but using a treadmill is a great way to insure that you’ll never miss a workout. You can get good, consistent runs in on a treadmill and monitor everything from distance and time, to calories burned and heartrate on your treadmill.
According to livestrong.com, “Your 5K treadmill training plan should include gradual increases in running or jogging each week, as compared to walking. Start slowly, with most of your training focused on walking. For example, during a 30-minute workout at the beginning of your training schedule, try one minute of running for every two minutes of walking. If that’s too much, drop it to 30 seconds of running for every 90 seconds of walking. As the weeks progress, increase the amount of time you spend running, aiming for a steady increase each week until you are running most of the time.”
Couch to 5K tips
As someone who went from not running a lot to finishing a 5K in a reasonably good time last year, here are some tips below that worked well for me:
*The American Heart Association recommends exercising 30 minutes a day, five days a week. If you want to run a 5K, I recommend running three times a week and taking a break one day in between each run. On some of the “break” days from running, if you feel up to it walk and/or perform strength training exercises.
*Track your walking and running times by watching the treadmill console.
*Increase the incline on the treadmill between levels 2-4 in order to simulate outdoor running conditions. Experiment with different incline levels to see what feels best and most challenging.
*Warm up good for at least 5 minutes and also cool down for 5 or more minutes. This can include light stretching, walking and running. I highly advise using foam rollers to loosen up muscles, especially the calves.
*Make sure you have a good pair of running shoes. Visit a specialty running store to make sure your shoes are in good condition and are the right model for your feet and running style.
*Don’t under buy your treadmill. Shop around and make sure you get a treadmill that will support your body type and running needs. 3G Cardio provides several treadmills to choose from in a variety of price ranges.
*Make sure to eat healthy and stay well-hydrated. Your body will be working harder than it’s used to and needs the proper fuel.
*Have fun!!! We know some people call it the “dreadmill” but if you build up gradually and focus on the improvements you’re making, running can be fun. Watch a movie or listen to music in your workout room to help pass the time.
*Make sure to consult with a doctor or certified trainer before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have prior health problems.
*Follow a workout plan and log your results. You can google things like “Couch to 5K” or “5K workouts for beginners” to find sample workouts and tweak them to fit your needs.