Train for a 5K

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Suwanee’s Big Peach Running Co. shares a plan to get you off the couch and ready for a 5K.

Training for a 5K — or any run for that matter — can be intimidating. However, incorporating a regimented training schedule can be the secret to success to tackling your first 5K! Here, Big Beach Running Co. Suwanee’s store manager, Billy Simpson, shares a plan to help take you from running novice to completing your first race, plus tips to take you to the next level.

Beginner 5K Training Plan: 6 Weeks

This training plan is for people who are essentially starting from zero. All of this can be tweaked if it feels too easy or too hard at any point. Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday are rest days. Fridays can be used for strength training or another form of cross training until the Friday before your 5K, which you will use as an extra rest day.

WEEK 1
Tuesday: Run 1 minute, walk 1 minute. Repeat 8-10 times.
Thursday: Run 2 minutes, walk 4 minutes. Repeat 5 times.
Sunday: Run 2 minutes, walk 4 minutes. Repeat 6 times.

WEEK 2
Tuesday: Run 3 minutes, walk 3 minutes. Repeat 4 times.
Thursday: Run 3 minutes, walk 3 minutes. Repeat 4 times.
Sunday: Run 5 minutes, walk 3 minutes. Repeat 3 times.

WEEK 3
Tuesday: Run 7 minutes, walk 2 minutes. Repeat 3 times.
Thursday: Run 8 minutes, walk 2 minutes. Repeat 3 times.
Sunday: Run 8 minutes, walk 2 minutes. Repeat 3-4 times.

WEEK 4
Tuesday: Run 8 minutes, walk 2 minutes. Repeat 3 times.
Thursday: Run 10 minutes, walk 2 minutes. Repeat 2 times. Then run 5 minutes again (slightly faster if possible) and cool down with a 2-minute walk.
Sunday: Run 8 minutes, walk 2 minutes. Repeat 3 times.

WEEK 5
Tuesday: Run 9 minutes, walk 1 minute. Repeat 3 times.
Thursday: Run 12 minutes, walk 2 minutes. Repeat 2 times. Run 5 minutes again.
Sunday: Run 8 minutes, walk 2 minutes. Repeat 3 times.

WEEK 6
Tuesday: Run 15 minutes, walk 1 minutes. Repeat 2 times.
Thursday: Run 8 minutes, walk 2 minutes. Repeat 3 times.
Saturday: RACE DAY! Don’t go out too fast. Run until you feel like you need a walk break. Most importantly, have fun!


Essential Gear

Preparation is key. Here is a list of suggested tools you’ll need for a successful race day:

1. A fitted running shoe
The most important item in your fitness journey is the right shoe. Big Peach Running Co. in Suwanee Town Center can take you through a fit process that scans your foot and analyzes your gait to find the best running or walking shoe for you. This will make running far more comfortable.

2. Good moisture-wicking socks
You wouldn’t want a luxury car without leather seats, right? Better socks will enhance your experience by letting your feet breathe better and preventing blisters.

3. A foam roller
Running will make you sore, especially when you are first starting out. A roller will help with muscle soreness and promote blood flow, as well as recovery.

4. A good watch
A stopwatch works, but if you want to track things like distance, heart rate, pace, and more, look no further than Garmin!


TIPS FROM BIG PEACH ON IMPROVING YOUR RACE TIME

• Make sure that you are doing different types of runs throughout the week, including at least two easy runs, a long run, and a speed workout. This workout can be done as a faster run on the road like a tempo, on the track as repeats, or hill sprints. Varying your runs and speeds are what makes you faster.

• Make sure that you are warming up before your race.

• Have a lighter weight shoe for race day to make the run feel easier.

Upcoming Runs

Now that you have a training plan, mark your calendar for these local upcoming runs.

Chilly Willy 5K, 10K and Half Marathon
Sat., Jan. 15th, 8:30 a.m.
Race through the sweet city of downtown Sugar Hill. The 5K is on a certified course and starts at 8:30 a.m.; the 10K continues and the half marathon is a double loop. There will be finisher medals for all half marathon participants, and the 5K and 10K participants may purchase one during registration. All participants will receive a Chilly Willy long sleeve race shirt. There will be chip timing with awards for the Overalls, Masters, Grand Masters, Senior Masters, and the five-year age groups. For more information visit RunSignUp.com/Race/GA/SugarHill/ChillyWilly5K10KHalfMarathon.

Suwanee Sweetheart Sprint 5K and Fun Run
Sat., Feb. 12th, 9AM
The Rotary Club of Buford/North Gwinnett hosts the 11th Annual Suwanee Sweetheart Sprint 5K and Fun Run at Suwanee Town Center. The race is a Peachtree Road Race qualifier and boasts tons of fun, including medals for each age group, fastest dog, most senior finisher and a Valentine-themed costume contest. After the race enjoy some hot chocolate, post-race snacks, and some fun with your friends and family at the photo booth. Proceeds support Rotary Club of Buford/North Gwinnett scholarships and other charities. For more information visit SuwaneeSweetheartSprint.com.

Suwanee Half Marathon and Old Town 5K
Sun., Feb. 20th, 7:30AM
The Suwanee Half Marathon has been an annual tradition since 2015. This year, races will take place on Sunday, February 20th, with the half marathon beginning at 7:30 a.m. in front of City Hall and the Old Town 5K starting at 7:45 a.m. The 8th annual event is presented by Performance Race Services along with the City of Suwanee, and will benefit the Suwanee Public Arts program. For more information visit SuwaneeHalf.com.

Suwanee Beer Fest Beer Chaser 5K
Saturday, March 5th, 11AM
The Suwanee Beer Fest Beer Chaser 5K returns to Town Center Park for its second year with its beer-centric twist on the traditional 5K. This timed, Peachtree Road Race qualifying event is perfect for experienced runners and newbies alike. Just choose the ticket that best fizzes up your beer belly – either non-stop or with beer stops. All 21+ runners will cheers together at the finish line. For more information visit SuwaneeBeerFest.com/beer-chaser-5k.

Suwanee Kiwanis Shamrock 5K
Saturday, March 19th, 8AM
The Suwanee Kiwanis will host its 10th annual Shamrock 5K at Suwanee Town Center to raise funds for their Don Lee Memorial scholarships. The proceeds last year assisted in awarding scholarships to three local high school students. The 3.1-mile course begins at City Hall at 8 a.m. There will be prizes for top male and female runners, with T-shirts and goodie bags available for registered runners. For more information visit Suwanee.com.

Big Peach Suwanee’s Group Run
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 6:30PM
At 6:30 every Tuesday and Thursday evening, runners meet at the amphitheater in Suwanee Town Center Park to get some fresh air and exercise and run or walk a 2-mile, 4-mile or 6-mile route. Runners and walkers of all paces and abilities are welcome and they also receive 10% off Big Peach merchandise. It’s a great way to get or stay in shape and make new friends that will help hold you accountable.

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