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8 Things You Should Know When Preparing for Your First 5K

Running your first 5K can be an intimidating goal for girls and adults alike. Each year, thousands of Girls on the Run participants cross the finish line of their first 5K event. Along with the girls who are completing their first 5K, many of the running buddies who are with them are also accomplishing their goal of running a 5K! As a partner of the Together Counts™ program for healthy, active living, we wanted to share these helpful training tips provided by fitness bloggers:

  1. Set a Goal, Pick a Plan and Find Your Pace. Set a short-term and long-term goal, find a training plan and pace that’s comfortable to you and then take your time to build up a steady speed. – Fran from Fit Life with Fran
  2. Don’t Be Afraid to Walk.Taking intermittent walk breaks of 30-60 seconds can give you a chance to catch your breath and refresh. – Gabrielle from Marathons and Macarons
  3. Switch up the Scenery.Each week plan another run with your GOTR girl at a different location. Find a trail, or new roads that you can go to and run, making it fun to see new scenery. – Katie Bottini
  4. Get the Right Shoe.To help prevent foot, hip or back pain and discomfort that some runners experience, head to your nearby running apparel store for a free assessment and get some help finding the perfect shoe. – Fran from Fit Life with Fran
  5. Stay Hydrated. You might not get as thirsty exercising outside in the winter as you would in the summer, but you will still sweat in the cold and it’s always important to re-hydrate after a run. – Gabrielle from Marathons and Macarons
  6. Set a Schedule.Keep a routine each week for what days/times you run and schedule it out in advance so there is no guessing of when you will get your workouts in. – Katie Bottini
  7. Don’t Forget to Stretch! Stretching after a run helps you feel looser and less stiff the next day, especially in the winter when the cold makes our muscles tense up so quickly. – Gabrielle from Marathons and Macarons
  8. Don’t be too hard on yourself! Do your best to stick to your training plan, but remember to give yourself a break sometimes, too! It’s okay if you miss a run, or if you cut a run short. Life happens, and sometimes training for a race may not be able to be your first priority. Try to stay on track as best you can, but don’t beat yourself up over a missed run or a slower-than-planned pace. You got this! – Ali from Ali On The Run

Will this be the year that you run your 5K? Check your local Girls on the Run council to find a fun 5K event near you!

Girls on the Run is a physical activity-based, positive youth development program for girls in 3rd through 8th grade. During the ten-week season, volunteer coaches lead girls through a research-based curriculum that uses dynamic discussions and running games to teach life skills. Each Girls on the Run season culminates with a celebratory 5K event that welcomes family, friends and community members to recognize the girls accomplishments throughout the season. Girls on the Run has councils in all fifty states and the District of Columbia and has served over 1.2 million girls.

For more fun ways to get active, check out these other articles from Together Counts!

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