Last Saturday I completed a 5k with several of my cousins as well as a couple of my Aunts! What a fun day and so awesome we can all do something so active together! Have you ever done a color run? This was my 4th Color Run and my 8th 5k. I enjoy these fun runs so much. This was not a timed race but that’s okay the point of these races are to get out exercises, have fun and raise money for charity. Saturday was a beautiful spring day in Colorado. The weather was just perfect.
Below are several pictures from our 5k on Saturday as well as some tricks and tips on how to train for your next 5k! Plus a FREE Training guide ebook. Download below.
OMG! What a fun time!!
So you’ve registered for your run but now where do you start? Grab my FREE 5k training ebook here.
Running requires a mindful approach to food, since everything we drink and eat has a direct impact on our performance and even our enjoyment of the exercise. Whether you’re looking to unlock your performance potential or to shed those final five pounds, these tips will help you.
- EAT REAL FOOD: Your diet should consist of whole foods. Fish, chicken, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fruit—these healthy staples provide more nutritional value than highly processed options. Plus, preparing meals from real-food sources gives you more control over your sodium and sugar intake.
- CHOOSE QUALITY CARBS: Make the most of your carbs with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. And remember: The less processing a plant receives, the more nutritious it is (think potatoes, not potato chips).
- WRITE IT DOWN Write down everything you eat and drink for several days to evaluate your eating habits. Are you snacking more than you realize? Reaching for sweets too often? Keep a log to identify areas where there’s room for improvement. I love to use MyFitnessPal to track my food intake.
- HYDRATE Fluids are an essential part of any runner’s fueling plan: By staying hydrated, you’ll boost performance and minimize performance . Watch the calories: Drinks that are high in sugar can contribute to weight gain. Limit fruit juice, pass on soft drinks, and switch your morning mocha to a cup of tea or coffee.
Carbo-Loading! Is it good for you?
NO!!! Going overboard on the days before your event can ruin your big day. Here’s how to handle pre-race nutrition.
THE MYTH Bingeing on carbs before a race maxes out muscle glycogen, which sustains endurance for distance events like marathons.
THE TRUTH Flooding your system with more carbs than it can handle will leave you feeling bloated and increase the likelihood of unplanned potty stops.
The key is to stay consistent and to focus on enjoying the process. Running is a great way to clear your mind, de-stress, spend time outdoors and explore new (safe) neighborhoods.
Today, I’ve put together a few pointers to get you started or, if you’re already running, to give you a boost…
Breathing properly plays a big role in running. Your body needs enough oxygen to zip along and prevent annoying discomforts like side cramps or fatigue. To do this, belly breaths are the way to go. Practice breathing deeply into your belly and not your chest, which can cause your shoulders to tense up.
Focus on your breathing rhythm as well, using your inhales and exhales to match up with foot strides. A good rhythm to aim for is 3:2 or 2:1. To do this, inhale for three steps and then exhale for two. Or inhale for two steps and exhale for one. This ensures your alternating the foot you land on as you exhale, minimize injury. This also puts you in tune with your body, which is always a good thing!
MAKE IT FUN
Running should be fun, relaxing and enjoyable and if that’s not how you’re feeling, something isn’t right. One of the first factors to keep in mind is to always listen to your body & run at your own pace. Taking breaks to walk is totally okay. Enjoy the process of building your strength and stamina.
Other factors to keep runs fun…
- Mix it up by exploring new trails, or different streets in your area
- Bring your pup along
- Listen to great music and refresh that playlist often
- Listen to podcast or an audiobook on your must-read list
Pay attention to form and keep your body relaxed. No part of your body should be tense. Shoulders should be down and feel easy. Relax your jaw and face too. And instead of tightly closed fists, aim for lightly cupped hands. If you are having trouble here focus back on your breathing to help your body relax. Or maybe switch to a different song to help you relax.
FIND THE PERFECT BALANCE
It’s important to push and challenge yourself, even if it feels uncomfortable at first. This being said, it’s essential to never push yourself too hard. You never want to get to the point of either injuring yourself or hating your workout so much that you never want to do it again. The goal is to find that sweet spot between pushing yourself and still enjoying the process!
MAKE IT A HIIT!
Feeling energized? Take your run to the next level by adding intervals of maximum effort. Use a stop watch to include a series of 30 second, all-out sprints to your normal run. After each sprint, slow down to a normal pace and then go for another!
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE GET SHIN SPLINTS
- Mix up your cardio routines. Hop on a bike, take a dance class or go for a swim in between running days.
- Stretch. One of the most common reasons for shin splits is tight calves. Loosen them up with a foam roller, or try this simple move: flex your foot against a wall and lean forward until you feel the stretch.
- Get fitted for the proper shoe!
- Watch your stride. Aim to land mid-foot as opposed to landing on your heels or your toes.
- Limit your runs on concrete and opt to run on a track, a wood chip trail or a treadmill instead.
For more running tips and a workout schedule click here to download my FREE 6 week 5k training program.
Until Next time! Have a wonderful day!
Hi!! I’m Kristin McConnell, creator of Innovative Health & Fitness, I am an Elite Fitness Trainer and a health and lifestyle blogger! I am a wife to my Amazing husband, Mom of two fabulous kids, and two dogs. We try our best to live a happy and healthy life.