By Kim McDevitt, MPH RD, National Educator at Vega, Adapted from “New to Running? Here’s Your How-to Guide!”
Whether your friends convinced you, you’ve decided to conquer a long-time goal, or you’re ready to experience what everyone is posting on Instagram, perhaps you’ve decided to start navigating the ins and outs of running your first 5K. Ready to train like a runner, dress like a runner, fuel like a runner, and most important of all, run like a runner? Start here:
1. Follow a Training Plan
For your first 5K, I recommend getting the fantastic Couch-to-5K app to start. Over the course of 9 weeks you will start slow and gradually build to running your first 5K (3.1miles).
2. Get Comfortable
- Invest in good socks. You want socks that are “wicking.” This fabric is specially designed to wick away sweat, preventing massive blisters from forming during a run.
- Get fitted. The shoe that your best friend raves about might not be the right shoe for you. Head to a running store and get properly sized. Let them know how much you plan to run per week, the type of terrain (trail versus road) and test out a few different styles and brands. Many stores even have treadmills to let you take them for a test spin!
- Skip the cotton. You don’t need a lot of fancy clothes to run, but on really hot days or rain I suggest skipping the cotton because it doesn’t dry quickly and traps in the sweat, both of which can lead to chaffing. Synthetic fabrics help wick moisture from your skin keeping you dry and comfortable.
3. Fuel Right
Don’t overlook nutrition, as it’s an integral part of your 5K training.
- Pre-Workout: Reach for simple, easily digested carbohydrates 30 to 60 minutes before your run. Easy grabs are a banana or dates. If you’re running for less than 30 minutes, grab Vega Sport Sugar-Free Energizer for a boost of caffeine from green tea and yerba maté for only 5 calories.
- Mid-Workout: No matter how long you’re running for, it’s never a bad idea to bring water. If it’s a hot day, or you’re heading out for more than 30 minutes, make sure to add Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator to your water bottle. It delivers all essential electrolytes to keep you well-hydrated, and is sweetened only with stevia with 0 calories.
- Post-Workout: There are many elements to successful recovery. To replenish energy, electrolytes, and reduce inflammation, muscle and joint pain after exercise, reach for Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator. Mix with water and drink within 20 minutes after your workout.
After that your post-workout meal doesn’t have to be any larger than normal, but should focus a bit more heavily on protein. If you’re on-the-go, try a complete multisource protein like Vega Sport Performance Protein. Just shake with water or non-dairy milk in a shaker cup and you’re off to a good recovery!
Clean and plant-based, the Vega Sport Nutrition System is a complete, three-stage system designed to help you harness the science of sports nutrition and nutrient timing to enhance your athletic performance. Vega Sport’s Prepare, Sustain, and Recover stages make it easy to fuel your better—before, during, and after your workout.
This month only, save 25% off Vega Sport Nutrition System products to Fuel Your Better 5K with promo code ‘VEGASPORT25’.
What 5K are you going to sign up for?