Complete Your First 5K Race

5kRunning and/or walking a 5K race (3.1 miles) is an excellent goal to work towards because you’ll receive lots of motivation, as well as a sense of accomplishment from completing a race. Even if you’re a couch potato, you can be ready for a 5K in a fairly short time.

There are many benefits to running and walking. This is a sport that almost anyone can do and is probably the most beneficial to your health. Here are some of the physical and mental benefits of cardiovascular conditioning that might convince you to get up and move:

•    Helps with weight loss

•    Prevents muscle and bone loss caused by aging

•    Helps fight disease

•    Reduces the risk of stroke, breast cancer, and heart attacks

•    Strengthens the heart and lowers blood pressure

•    Raises good cholesterol

•    Builds confidence and relieves stress

•    Improves your mood and provides you with a sense of empowerment

How do you get started? First, find yourself a good pair of running shoes and, second, get moving. I reviewed quite a few running plans on the Internet, and found the following, which I believe are realistic to helping you successfully accomplish your first 5K race.

-For starters, if you have never walked or ran a mile, no worries.  Follow this training schedule and in four weeks, you should be able to run or walk a mile:  running.about.com/od/trainingschedules/a/fourweekstoonemile.htm.

-Once you have a mile under your belt, follow one of these training plans and you will be on your way to completing your first 5K race in approximately one to two months:  running.about.com/od/trainingschedules/a/fourweekstoonemile.htm or


If you are a seasoned runner or walker, consider participating in the Santa Cruz 5K Turkey Trot on Nov. 19. For more information go to santacruztrackclub.com .

If you plan to go out of town for the holidays, check out this website to locate a Turkey Trot close to where you will be:  active.com/running/turkeytrot/


Jennifer Adams is a nationally certified personal trainer and exercise instructor who has been in the fitness industry for more than 20 years. She is the owner of Sand N Sea Fitness in Santa Cruz and is a practicing attorney. Contact her at [email protected]


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