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Sofa to 5K Training Tips

In two to three months, you can go from slug to star with this 5K training plan.

Getting Into Shape continued...

Start slow. That's crucial, Galloway says. "My advice for beginners is they not go longer than about 15 minutes on the Tuesday and Thursday runs the first week," he says. Increase the time very gradually, such as three minutes at a time, until you are up to 30 minutes.

"Pacing must be slow enough so that there is no huffing and puffing," Galloway says. "I recommend insertion of a one-minute walk break after one to three minutes of running (beginners should run a minute/walk a minute) as the maximum."

Don't try to play catch-up if you miss a workout, Galloway says. "If you miss one of your walks, you don't suddenly go from 2 miles to 4 miles."

Play 'Mind Games'

No matter how jazzed you may be at the beginning, when motivation wanes, you need help fast.

If getting out of bed in the morning early enough to train is the problems, Galloway suggests you lay out everything you need to wear the night before. Put your gear by the coffee pot.

As you lull yourself to sleep, repeat a mantra such as "Feet, alarm, coffee." "You are formatting your brain for action," he says. The plan: feet hit the floor, turn off the alarm, head for the coffee pot. "As you are brewing your coffee, you are getting dressed, then walking out the door.

"The principle here is, the body in bed wants to stay in bed," Galloway says. "The body in motion wants to stay in motion."

Refer back to your pro-con list, Comana suggests, when motivation lags.

If the cons have started to outweigh the pluses, search for more reasons to do the event, he suggests. 

One Woman's 5K Plan

Gilbert knows why she is motivated this time and what will keep her going. Her boyfriend is training at the same time to do a half marathon, and he will spur her along.

She's already decided she will go to the gym in the morning, before work, to train. "While it's painful to get up that early, my boyfriend is willing to go with me," she says.

She'll also depend on the support of several co-workers who are runners. "I'll look to them as people who can be there for me, too," she says.

Then there's the bottom-line motivation that she's sure will propel her all the way to that 5K finish line: "I want to take more control of my life."

5K Training Schedule

Galloway shared the following 5K training program with WebMD (below). Cross training (noted as "XT" on the chart) isn't a must for finishing a 5K, and Galloway doesn't recommend cross training for more than an hour per session.

5k Training Schedule

Week

M-W-F

Tues-Thurs

Saturday

Sunday

1

walk or XT

run 10-15 min

off

1 mile

2

walk or XT

run 15 min

off

1 mile

3

walk or XT

run 15-20 min

off

1.5 mile

4

walk or XT

run 15-20 min

off

1 mile

5

walk or XT

run 20-25 min

off

2 miles

6

walk or XT

run 20-25 min

off

1 mile

7

walk or XT

run 25-30 min

off

2.5 miles

8

walk or XT

run 25-30 min

off

1.5 miles

9

walk or XT

run 30 min

off

3 miles

10

walk or XT

run 30 min

off

1.5 miles

11

walk or XT

run 30 min

off

3.5 miles

12

walk or XT

run 30 min

off

1.5 miles

13

walk or XT

run 30 min

off

4 miles

14

walk or XT

run 30 min

off

2 miles

15

walk or XT

run 30 min

off

5K Race

 

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Reviewed on May 02, 2013

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