9 Tips to Get You Ready for The Austin Ranch 5k

The Austin Ranch 5k is right around the corner! You may be looking for ways to prepare and get in shape before the event, and if so we’ve got you covered. We put together 9 tips to have you all set and ready to go from the couch to the 5k.

  • If you are a beginner, don’t worry about how many miles to run, begin by running for time, not distance.
  • When you decide to start running, purchase a good pair of running shoes designed for your arch and stride type. If you’re not sure which type of shoe you need, visit Playtri in Austin Ranch to get fitted properly. Good socks are as important as good shoes. Look for socks that are seam-free, and ones that manage moisture so you won’t get blisters. You can get those at Playtri too!
  • Before you start a run, you need a good warm-up routine, which includes dynamic stretching to get the blood flowing. Leave the static stretching for the post-run routine. Dynamic stretching includes walking lunges, butt kicks, high knees and toy soldiers—straight-leg kicks that stretch the hamstrings. Dynamic stretching will increase your flexibility and help prevent injuries by strengthening your muscles and joints. After doing some dynamic stretching, walk briskly for five minutes, then speed up to a comfortable jogging or running pace.  Check out Playtri TV for examples: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48-xuaY9RxA
  • When you finish your first run, don’t stop suddenly. Instead, walk for another five minutes to cool down gradually.
  • Recovering after a run is one of the most important aspects of training. Running makes your legs strong, toned and, unfortunately, tight. Stretching not only increases flexibility, but can also be a vital way to avoid injury. Stretch your major muscle groups with focus on the quadriceps, hamstrings, IT band, upper and lower back, groin and hip flexors. Slowly ease your way into each stretch and hold it for 30 to 45 seconds.
  • Running can also deplete the body’s muscle glycogen stores, which is the primary fuel source for running. Replenishing muscle glycogen after a run within 30 minutes is important, and can be as easy as drinking chocolate milk, which is full of carbohydrates and contains protein.
  • Beginning runnersthat want total body strength should include core workouts in their routine. Core work can also be done on days you do not run. You can have a great core workout without going to a gym or needing any equipment. Focus on body-weight exercises such as push-ups, plank and abs exercises, back extensions and body weight squats.
  • Running form is unique to the individual, but can be improved upon. Some general form tips:
    1. Run tall without a pronounced forward lean
    2. Don’t look at your shoes as you run; look toward the horizon
    3. You can run faster by increasing your stride turnover, not by overreaching with each stride
    4. On uphills, shorten your stride, and drive more with your arms. Try to maintain an even effort, not pace
    5. When running downhill, let gravity work for you by leaning slightly forward
  • At Playtri we can provide run form analysis, shoe fitting, coaching and group training.  Stop by Playtri in Austin Ranch or contact Chuck at selcuk@playtri.com for questions or to get started.

Try out this 4 Week Couch to 5k Run/Walk Program!

Week 1

  • Day 1: Run 3 minutes, walk 1 minute, repeat 5 times
  • Day 2: Rest or cross-train
  • Day 3: Run 3 minutes, walk 1 minute, repeat 5 times
  • Day 4: Rest
  • Day 5: Run 3 minutes, walk 1 minute, repeat 5 times
  • Day 6: Rest or cross-train
  • Day 7: Rest

Week 2

  • Day 1: Run 4 minutes, walk 1 minute, repeat 5 times
  • Day 2: Rest or cross-train
  • Day 3: Run 4 minutes, walk 1 minute, repeat 5 times
  • Day 4: Rest
  • Day 5: Run 4 minutes, walk 1 minute, repeat 5 times
  • Day 6: Rest or cross-train
  • Day 7: Rest

Week 3

  • Day 1: Run 5 minutes, walk 1 minute, repeat 5 times
  • Day 2: Rest or cross-train
  • Day 3: Run 5 minutes, walk 1 minute, repeat 5 times
  • Day 4: Rest
  • Day 5: Run 5 minutes, walk 1 minute, repeat 5 times
  • Day 6: Rest or cross-train
  • Day 7: Rest

Week 4

  • Day 1: Run 6 minutes, walk 1 minute, repeat 5 times
  • Day 2: Rest or cross-train
  • Day 3: Run 6 minutes, walk 1 minute, repeat 5 times
  • Day 4: Rest
  • Day 5: Run 6 minutes, walk 1 minute, repeat 5 times
  • Day 6: Rest or cross-train
  • Day 7: Rest

Week 5 – Race Week

  • Day 1: Run 6 minutes, walk 1 minute, repeat 3 times
  • Day 2: Rest or cross-train
  • Day 3: Race Day! Run 6 minutes, walk 1 minute, until you finish!

*This is a general guide for people that are healthy enough to run/walk up to a 5K.  If you are not ready for the amount of running outlined here, add more walking in.  Email seluck@playtri.com with questions.

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