Couch to 5k: Everything You Should Know Before Signing Up

Signing up for a race is exciting, but understanding how to prepare can be difficult if you’ve never done it before. We’re breaking down everything you should consider before the race begins.

Stay Accountable

If you are new to running or want some help to stay accountable, one way to make sure you follow through and train is to sign up ahead of time for the race you are planning to run. If you sign up with friends or family, you already have an accountability group and putting money down on the race will be another incentive, so you don’t waste your money by not participating.

Prepare Your Training Plan

Once you have your accountability group set and your registration complete, take a look at how much time you have to train and make a training plan to get you to a place where you feel comfortable and confident in the run you’ve signed up for. Ideally, you want to give yourself at least 6-10 weeks to prepare—depending on your current ability. Once your time frame is set, plan all your runs in your calendar up until race day. Running three days per week with a day or two of rest in between runs is ideal so you can properly recover in between runs. Setting your running plans ahead of time will help you stay committed to your training and reduces your chance of falling off your schedule. 

Modify Your Training to Your Ability

If you can’t run the full distance of the race you signed up for yet, start with a run/walk where you have a specific distance set with intervals planned for both running and walking. As you progress, increase the run time and distance. 

Go On Group Runs

Remember, your accountability group is right there with you! Be sure to plan plenty of group runs with them and check in throughout each other’s training process. You might also want to plan a fun team costume too! Unless you are planning on winning a cash prize or break some records, this should be fun!

Dress Appropriately and Fuel Up Before the Race

The morning of the race, be sure to dress for the weather and have a light meal that won’t give you an upset stomach. Even though you worked hard and deserve a new pair of shoes, make sure you run in the same shoes you were training in, or the same style that have been broken in a little bit. You do not want to risk blisters or sore feet.

Have fun and enjoy!

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