Running has become very popular these days and you will often see someone out running no matter the weather conditions. Running is an excellent form of exercising to build stamina and races are plentiful to test running speed and time.
I am part of a local running room in my area and generally run 5 and 10 kilometer races. I am not into the longer distances as I do not find the joy in that and prefer to test myself over shorter distances. As a fitness and outdoor fanatic, I set my goals high and always ready to challenge myself.
For many people starting out with running, either love it or not. The key to actually enjoy running is to go at a slow progression. More on that below.
I have been running for 10 years now and the first time that I started, I want to run a 5 kilometer distance right away. 5K is not an impossible distance, but I hated it because I was expecting it to be a breeze but it was totally the opposite. I thought this is it as far as running goes for me.
What Got Me Running Again
A few of my girlfriends joined a Running Room in our area and starting running for pleasure. They then got the bug to do a color run as that has become all the rage with tons of people getting pelted with different colors. It is quite fun though. They then started doing some 5 kilometer races and were getting a kick out of it.
Seeing how much they were enjoying it, I needed to try it out again and this time start properly. I wanted to train correctly and know the best strategies on how to run a faster 5k. The secret or not really is to start with progressive training.
Progressive training is simple and means progress. Start with smaller distances, then work yourself up to five kilometers. When you start out this way, your body adapts and gets stronger. It also makes running a lot more bearable and enjoyable. You are not running for a long time on your first few weeks. It is all a build up.
The best way to start is with 2 kilometer distance. You may be surprised at this but you will not be running the full 2k to start. You will be walking and running intermittently.
Start by walking for 5 minutes, then run for 1 minute. Walk for 2 then run for 1 minute until you have covered your distance. You will notice that over the first week, your time will decrease without you overexerting yourself. This is how progressively get stronger, fitter and gain more stamina.
For me, two weeks at this rate was an excellent start and once I felt good, I increased my distance using the same intermittent training. I covered longer distances easier and loved it. Once I got into the routine of running, my walking time decreased and running increased to when I started running 5 kilometers at a good pace without feeling exhausted.
Once you feel that this distance is good, then you can start increasing your distance with the same intermittent walking and running once again with longer distances.
Best Way to Improve Your 5K Time
If you are like me and like the challenge of running and decreasing your time over this distance, the key is train at longer distances. To run a faster 5k, your overall speed throughout the distance has to be faster and stamina is key to achieve this.
Training with 10K distances is good to build your stamina which will help you run faster over a shorter distance. My times for 5 kilometer races have improved dramatically over the past year due to more longer distant runs.
Join a running group as this makes it fun too, to be with people who have the same interests and goals. Give my strategy a try, you will find your stamina improve a lot quicker than trying to attack the distance each run when you are starting out. Enjoy!