Preparing your body and mind for a 5k marathon is no child’s play but it is no impossible feat either. You will require a comprehensive and well designed plan for achieving success in the marathon. It is true that not everyone will be able to complete the run in a fixed time span. There are people who will lumber up to complete the run, eventually. If you are not a professional athlete, you need not beat yourself about the time you take to finish the run. But still, you need to prepare for it if you want to finish the marathon at all! There are 5k marathon training programs that take up 3 months or so. However, with hard work and consistency, it is possible to complete such a training regime in just 10 weeks.
5 Steps on How to Train for a 5k Marathon:
Here are the 5 stages to prepare for 5k marathon:
Stage 1-Evaluating Fitness Level:
This is the first and most important stage in preparation for the marathon. You need to take many factors into account, including weather conditions, your physical fitness and level of endurance. Both muscle and cardio fitness has to be considered. You can do so by doing sit ups and push ups. Your age is another factor that has to be considered while evaluating the fitness level.
To check your cardio fitness level, take one mile walk test and step test of 3 minutes. The latter involves stepping off and up a box for 3 minutes. The walking test is meant to find out your capacity to cover a mile by foot.
Stage 2 – Checking Out Shoes:
As you can understand, the shoes you use for the marathon are crucial for your success. The regular sneakers you use for morning walk or jogging in the park will not fit the bill. For covering a marathon, you need specially designed shoes with ergonomic support and padding. You may check the Internet for shoes specially designed for running long races like marathons. Try the shoes at local stores as well. If you have flat feet, there are also specially developed shoes for that.
Stage 3 – Planning Workout Routine:
Even if you are healthy and fit, it is prudent that you get into marathon preparation regime in a slow and steady manner. For the first few weeks, run or walk thrice a week. You need to tone and prepare your muscles and body for the final event.
In the first week, start light jogging and walking. It can be considered as a warm up week. Combine yoga and strength training with walking. During this week, you can cover 1 to 2 miles.
In the second week, push up the envelope a bit. In this week, do more jogging rather than walking. Try covering more distance in this week too.
During the third week, your body should be in a position to take up more load than before. In this week, you can continue the workout regime of the earlier weeks but push your cardiovascular system to higher limits.
Stage 4 – Mid Training Weeks:
This is the phase when much of the actual rigorous training takes place. It comprises of weeks 4th to 7th. In this phase, you have to improve your endurance, speed, and pace.
In the 4th week of the regime, you have to get into intense training. However, in this week, you can either jog or run 50% of the entire time. In this week, try to cover 3 miles per day.
In the 5th week, you have to make the workout a little more rigorous. This is the week when you should get into interval training—combination of fast running followed by brisk walking. It will boost your endurance and speed.
In the 6th and 7th weeks, your practice should be at the most intensive level. Try increasing your sprint time and start jogging in between 2 sprints instead of walking. You should be able to cover the entire marathon distance by now. These are some of the marathon running tips for you to follow to hit your goal.
Stage 5 – Winding It Down:
This is the phase that lets your body rest and ready for the marathon.
In the 8th week, you should blend walking and jogging. You should continue covering 3miles by running or walking.
In the 9th week, you should cover the distance only by light jogging. You should work out on alternate days.
In the last week, you just need to relax and keep your body well toned. Two days before the event, do not work out. In other days, practice light jogging.
5k marathon is no small feat and yet once you get past the checkered flag, you will be revving yourself up for the next marathon. It goes without saying that running is the best form of exercise. So what are you waiting for? Push your body to the limits, lace up your shoes and get-set-go!
Have you ever run a 5k marathon? How easy or difficult was it?
Do share your ideas on how to train for a 5k marathon with us in the comments section.