Training tips for 5K run/walk newbies
Thursday, July 28, 2016
The second annual Get Your Rear in Gear 5K is days away. If you plan to participate but have yet to train, there’s still time. If you’re not sure how to start training, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
The Get Your Rear in Gear-Green Bay presented by Aurora BayCare Medical Center is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6. It offers a timed 5K race and a 1.5-mile walk. The race will carry runners and walkers from the starting line at Aurora BayCare Medical Center, through the surrounding neighborhoods and back to the finish line on the hospital campus. Race organizers say they expect upwards of 200 registrants.
Follow these 5K training tips compiled by Laura Grovogel, a fitness and nutrition expert at Aurora BayCare Sports Medicine Fitness Center, to ensure you experience a positive and fulfilling race day, one that you’ll want to repeat next year:
- Register for the race: Sign up and share the news with family and friends. That way you create the expectation that you’ll actually participate in and complete the run/walk. You may not care about letting yourself down if you feel tempted to back out, but you don’t want to let Grandma down, do you?
- Build up to race day: Create a training schedule and gradually start preparing your body for race day. A simple online search can provide a variety of suggested training plans. Remember to check with your primary care physician to make sure you are cleared for physical activity before you start training, especially if it’s been a while since you exerted yourself.
- Get the right gear: A comfy pair of running shoes is essential to a successful race-day experience. Make sure they fit properly and don’t cause you any discomfort. If they’ve lived past their shelf life, consider investing in a new pair. Just make sure you take the time to break them in before race day. As for clothing, choose high-tech materials that wick moisture away from your body and allow air to circulate.
- Strength train: Ensure better posture and experience less stress on your joints and reduced chances of injury when you include strength training as part of your 5K training regimen. In other words, hit the gym.
- Stretch, stretch, stretch: Get your muscles warmed up before you hit the streets, trail or treadmill. It’s also important to get them cooled down when you complete your training session. Stretching helps keep your body loose and is helpful in preventing many common injuries. A simple web search can provide dynamic and static stretches for your training regimen. Dynamic stretching is ideal before your training session to prepare joints and muscles for optimal movement and activation. Finishing your session with static stretching can bring down your heart rate, reduce your risk of injury and ease muscle soreness.
- Fuel your body: When training for your 5K experience, don’t forget the importance of nutrition. It could mean the difference between a successful hands-in-the-air-as-I-cross-the-finish-line run/walk experience and one in which you make a beeline for the medical tent after staggering across the finish line. When it comes to fueling your body for training purposes, follow this advice: eat a well-balanced, healthy diet. By incorporating a healthy mix of carbohydrates, proteins and fats into your diet, your body will be prepared for your training sessions and ultimately, race day.
The Get Your Rear in Gear 5K run/walk is an effort to raise awareness of colon cancer and better educate the public about the importance of appropriate screenings and early detection. It’s a program of the Colon Cancer Coalition, a Minneapolis-based group that promotes national awareness of colon cancer and encourages increased use of screenings.
Aurora BayCare Medical Center is the event’s presenting sponsor.
Registration is $25 for adults and $15 for ages 12 and under through August 3, then $30 for adults and $20 for ages 12 and under from August 4 to race day. The kids’ fun run is $15.
Erik Johnson, MD, FACS, is Board Certified in general surgery and in colon and rectal surgery, and practices at Aurora BayCare Medical Center. Dr. Johnson received his education at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and completed two fellowships, one at Ferguson Clinic in colorectal and one at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in oncology. Learn more here.