You could run a 5K in just 12 weeks

  • By Gabriella Boston Special To The Washington Post
  • Monday, July 29, 2013 2:58pm
  • Life

In three months, you could run a 5K even if you have never run in your life.

If you are otherwise healthy, 12 weeks of training is all you need in order to make that 5K not just doable but enjoyable, says Bill Pierce, co-author of “Run Less Run Faster” and a longtime marathoner.

Start walking: Washington, D.C., running coach Elyse Braner recommends a combination of jogging and walking the first few weeks for 30 minutes a day, three times a week.

Start out jogging for 30 seconds and walking for 90 seconds in the 30 minutes.

Once that combination becomes comfortable, start upping the jog portion and decreasing the walk portion until you are jogging the whole time.

Go the distance: When 30 minutes becomes comfortable change to distance 5K (3.1 miles). “You might get to a 5K in Week 3 or 4,” Braner said.

Race-ready: By eight weeks, you could be race-ready, she said.

Protect yourself: It’s important not to push too hard, too fast, Braner said. “It may not feel good, and you get discouraged, or worse, injured,” she said.

Running coach Kathy Pugh says for good form and posture buy good shoes and get fitted at a running shoe store.

Cross training: Incorporate hill running to create running-specific strength training for the gluteus, quadriceps and hamstring muscles, Pugh says.

Other runner-friendly strength exercises, according to Pierce, are those that strengthen the core and the muscles that stabilize the hips and knees.

Pierce also promotes — particularly for longer distances — cross-training such as cycling and swimming to take some of the pressure off the joints while still conditioning.

Cool-down and stretching: Important for injury prevention and the body’s need to recover and relax, Pierce said.

Race day: Pierce offers three pieces of advice: “Don’t go out too fast, don’t go out too fast, don’t go out too fast.” You can deplete your energy very quickly and hit a wall midway or at the end of the race.

More in Life

Everett’s Michael ‘Scooby’ Silva is the leader of the (dog) pack

Since 2012, he’s built a thriving business walking dogs while their owners are at work.

Still looking for that one special recipe for the holidays?

Columnist Jan Roberts-Dominguez shares her traditional recipes for cheese soup and chocolate sauce.

How to saute mushrooms to crispy, browned perfection

Various levels of heat affect our scrumptious fungus: There’s “sweating” and then there’s “sauteing.”

Bob Jepperson’s Wild Love Story

A perfect circle of sounds, pictures and storytelling from the Anacortes author.

Brutally true ‘Montauk’ parallels author’s conflicted real life

The short autofictional novel centers on a weekend tryst the narrator has with a much younger woman.

Jesse Sykes brings her evolving sounds to Cafe Zippy in Everett

She and Phil Wandscher make a return trip to a club that she values for its intimacy.

‘Shape of Water,’ ‘Big Little Lies’ lead Golden Globe nominations

“The Post” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” also collected a number of nominations.

Getting a glimpse of what’s coming as we age

Everett Public Library reading to help you understand the changes ahead in your elder years.

Take 10 minutes to make a salad so harmonious, it sings

You can make this chicory winter salad with roasted grapes as written, or add your own spin.

Most Read