Running your first 5k

I always hated running growing up. Maybe it was because we were forced to in gym class, or that I was never the fastest. A few years ago I discovered running outdoors, and it really changed my perspective on it. Having beautiful scenery, your favorite playlist on your ipod and fresh air in your lungs makes running so much more enjoyable!

I recently signed up to run my first 5k. I’m by no means a pro, but I thought I’d share some of the helpful tips and tools that took me from a complete non-runner to someone who voluntarily signed up to run 3.1 miles.

  1. Couch 2 5k- this program, which has been done many different ways- on paper, MP3s, and most recently an iphone app is what really got me started. It claims to be able to take anyone from sedentary to running 3.1 miles straight in 9 weeks. I’ve had great success with this program, although I’m still a bit away from running the full 3.1 miles. It’s really motivating to be able to complete the first workout and think “hey, maybe I really can do this!”This is my favorite C25k app to use (click on the icon to see more info): 
  2. An MP3 player and some upbeat tunes- It’s amazing how a good song can make that last stretch do-able. My favorite way of getting music suggestions it to ask on my facebook and twitter! Just about everyone has favorite songs to work out to, and you’re sure to get a lot of replies.
  3. Sunblock- if you’re running outside, don’t forget to put on a healthy coat of SPF 30 or higher, as recommended by the American Cancer Society! If you’re going to be outside longer than two hours, re-apply!
  4. Just sign up! I waffled for weeks and thought I needed to wait until I was ready before I signed up. I decided to just do it, and I’m glad I did. Even though I probably wont be able to run the entire stretch, I’m glad I’ll have a baseline time to measure my improvement by.
    Check out sites like,, to find local races.

I’d love to hear any other tips from some veteran race runners to help me out for my first one next week! Share them in the comments :)




  • Maria M.

    I used that app to run my first 5k.  Loved it! They also have a bridge to 10k version.