With my new focus being on half and full marathon training, I’ve been thinking a lot about the role of the 5K as the first tier race. I’ve been running 5K’s since I was 15-years-old, so for me it’s just another day of a cross-country runner. I began to forget what it was like to begin the training process. Using my personal Twitter and Facebook accounts, I reached out to some of my friends to see who is taking the challenge of running their first 5K race. My wonderful friend Cindy, who was my school nurse in high school and saw every running injury I acquired, let me in on her journey from non-runner to 5K racer.
Three years ago, Cindy had gastric bypass surgery and made the promise to herself that when she lost her weight, she would run a 5K. Cindy has never been a runner so this was a new task for her, “Back in high school, a long time ago, I probably ran about 3 miles at most.” Cindy plans to run the Portland, Maine 5K Color run this July.
For new runners Cindy advises, “ Have a goal in mind when you start, a certain race that you’re striving for.” Her own goal is to do the best she can. “I just want to prove to myself that I can do something that I set out to do,” Cindy shared with me.
It’s hard to stay focused running when it’s new to you. Even now after almost 8 years of competitive running, I sometimes struggle with keeping my head on the trail. “The thought of running in a 5k keeps me motivated as it’s something I have wanted to do for years,” Cindy said about what keeps her motivated. “I also have a “workout buddy” and we are each others’ motivation and cheerleader.”
Excited for the race, Cindy will be sticking to her running schedule and maintaining a healthy diet at the same time. “I am very careful about what I eat…very low carbs, very low sweets. Lots of veggies and fruits.” A key to strong running is a balanced diet, cross training and rest. Cindy hasn’t started any cross training yet but she did say she is taking baby steps to get there.
At this point I’m impressed. Cindy’s motivation and determination has given me encouragement to start training for something I haven’t done in a long time. Run a marathon. For anyone losing motivation during a run, remember Cindy’s wise words, “ Keep going…if I can do it, anyone can do it.”
If you’re a beginner runner, check out these hashtags on Twitter to find some tips and others in your shows. #5KTraining, #couchto5K, #running, and @RunningQuotes to keep you going. So lace up your sneakers, buy a cute new running outfit, update you’re running playlist and get out there!