Thursday, December 11, 2008

How to Train for a 5K – the Sequel!

Martin Memorial Housecall is a little more than a year old and in that time one thing we haven’t done is include any re-runs. Until now.

Starting today, we’ll be featuring an eight-week training program that will get you ready to run a 5K race by February. The program was prepared last year by Susan Hastings, co-owner of Fleet Feet of Stuart running store, and it was so good we wanted to present it again.

Her goal is to get you excited about running in the third-annual “Fleet Feet Run for Your Heart 5K.” The run takes place Feb. 7, 2009 and proceeds will benefit the Frances Langford Heart Center at Martin Memorial.

We'll post the program two weeks at a time and a new version will come out every other week. So lace up your running shoes and prepare to follow along. And we'll see you on race day!

Believe it or not, even if you’ve never run a step in your life without being chased, you can complete a 5K with this eight-week training program. I have to give credit where credit is due: Cliff Held, one of our friends/customers, created this for us and we have used it in our beginning running classes with great success. I’ll give you the steps to succeed, you just have to take them.

Over the next few weeks, in addition to giving you your training schedule, I’ll talk a little about stretching, eating right and hydrating – all things that help you start and continue a healthy running regimen. If you don’t start properly it can be difficult and discouraging.

You won’t necessarily love it the first time you run but stick with it – the sense of accomplishment makes it worth it and you’ll be surprised that you start looking forward to your next one. If you follow this program I’ll get you to the start and across the finish line in a healthy, positive and enjoyable way.

Believe it or not, the average ‘runner’ runs three miles, three times a week and that’s great for cardiovascular health. You don’t need to have a marathon in your future (although you could!), you just have to want to hit the road.

Of course, being the owner of Fleet Feet Stuart, I do have to mention that it’s important as you start your training in the right way to have the proper footwear. If you don’t, you risk injuries such as shin splints, knee pain, plantar fasciitis (if you don’t know what it is consider yourself lucky), and many other aches and pains that could possibly be alleviated with the proper shoes.

Now let’s get to the training…and please email me at if you have any questions.

Week 1 – Alternately jog/walk (eight of each for a total of 16) 100-yard segments for a total of 1 mile. Do this same workout three times the first week.
Week 2 – Alternately jog/walk (five of each for a total of 10) 200-yard segments for a total of 1 ¼ miles. Same workout, three times the second week.

Get in your car, clock off your mile and get started. You can do a rough estimate of your 100- and 200-yard segments. The most important thing is to stick to your mileage for the designated week and don’t try to go too fast; just run at a pace that’s comfortable for you.

Get your friends, family and co-workers to join you. Some people are morning runners, some prefer night. Whatever it is, put it on your calendar like any other appointment and show up on time!

Happy running!

--Susan Hastings

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