By Katie Bolton
If you’ve decided to join Calvary and the alumni of Delta Sigma Theta for our 5k on Saturday, June 23rd, you are probably in the early stages of your training. If you’re still on the fence—what are you waiting for? Staff, residents, volunteers and supporters of Calvary will be coming together to celebrate health, fitness and our new neighborhood. In the coming weeks, I’m going to share some thoughts on wellness, safety and preparation that I hope will reassure and entice readers to become runners.
Before you begin any exercise program, you should consult your doctor. I’m going to offer guidance on your general well-being as a new runner, but it’s important to first and foremost follow the advice of your doctor.
1) Choose a training plan. The Internet has dozens of training plans to guide you from the couch to the finish line. Some are free, while others cost a few dollars. Most will ask for about 30 minutes three to four times per week. Choose one that seems to fit with your schedule and fitness level, and again: consult your doctor before jumping in!
2) Set a routine. Training for a 5k shouldn’t take large chunks out of your day, but you will need regular workouts to see improvement. Whether this is your first 5k or your 50th, you know whether you can fit in morning, lunchtime, or evening sessions. Planning your workouts makes it easier to stick to them. The better you stick to your training, the easier your race will be.
3) Get some shoes. A good running shoe supports your feet, knees, and hips, and helps keep you exercising comfortably. If you can’t remember when you bought the shoes you walk in now, or if you don’t own sneakers at all, it’s time for a fresh pair. Staff at a local running store can help you find the right size and fit for you, and you can even take each pair for a test run around the block before you buy. Many running stores also have weekly “fun runs” that are open to the community; you might meet a buddy if you join!
4) Take care of yourself. Next week’s post will feature tips to help you stay safe and avoid injury, but for now, just remember not to do too much too soon, and to listen to your body. It will tell you when it is hungry, thirsty, tired or sore. And it will definitely tell you when you’ve made it cranky!
5) Don’t give up! It’s normal to feel self-conscious during any new activity, particularly one as public as running and walking. Every runner you see loping along effortlessly has huffed and puffed just like you. Ask them if you don’t believe me! Remember that it will get easier, and be proud of your accomplishments each week.
Will you be joining us for the 5k on June 23rd? How are you preparing?