Run!

“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”

John Bingham

The sense of accomplishment and sheer relief that one feels after a run short or long is indescribable. Going for a run helps you to clear your mind and reduces stress and is pure therapy for the soul.

Whenever something weighs on your mind or it feels as if the walls are closing in on you, lace up and head out. Running won’t solve all your problems but it will hold your hand when life throws you a curveball.

Now that you have started running, I appreciate it maybe feels a little hard, but nothing beats that awesome, ‘I did it feeling’ going through you every time you finish your ‘me’ time.

As a coach, I believe in setting specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-based goals that are both fun and doable. If you have been a part of my ‘10 000 step a day challenge’ or joined me on ‘run for fun’, maybe you are now flirting with the idea of signing up or attempting your first 5km run. It’s an awesome choice and a good distance for newbies to running and established athletes alike.

Like any commitment in life, there will be days when you won’t feel like running, however, nothing beats feeling fitter, stronger and amazed with training yourself when you realize that a distance or pace that once seemed impossible feels comfortable and is leading you towards a leaner more capable physique

Your first step is to pick a date or sign up for a race at least five weeks away. That will give you enough time to follow our training program created by Aubrey, personal trainer at Tiger Athletic Fitness & Conditioning in Sandton Johannesburg. His plan builds from an easy run & walk combination to 5km of steady running, giving you the distance and stamina you’ll need to achieve your 5km goal on goal date.

In this 5-week plan, there is four days of running, with active rest days in between for either stretching or going for a walk. We run every other day to get a mental break from ‘pounding the pavement’ and to minimize the risk of injury. Having rest days that fall on weekdays as well as weekends allows your running plan to fit into your work and family life.

As stated in week 1 of ‘Run for fun’, watching the clock is easier and way less stressful than counting the kilometers. Only Sunday’s run is in kilometers so that you can begin to gain a sense of your pace per kilometer, this serves as a confidence booster. Knowing how far you’ve run gives a barometer of how close you are towards your goal and benchmarks you for future runs.

It is vitally important that you start with 5 minutes of brisk walking as a warmup and end with 5 minutes of walking at an easier pace to cool down for each session.

A warmup gradually revs up your cardiovascular system by raising your body temperature and increasing blood flow to your muscles reducing the risk for injury and may also help reduce muscle soreness.

Cooling down after your run allows for a gradual recovery of pre-exercise heart rate and blood pressure. Both warmup and cooldown contribute to your total workout time while helping to build your endurance to achieve our end goal.

At the end of this article is a guide to successfully completing a 5km run. Copy it and and place it somewhere easily accessible to sight to serve as a daily reminder and motivation of your goals and to help keep you on track.

Here is a little insight on how to apply these workouts to your daily routine, a breakdown of the main types of workouts along with some tips for making the most of these workouts.

  1. Each ’round’ refers to a 3 minute run followed by a 1 minute walk. Easy!
  2. All runs should be done at a pace easy enough for you to hold a conversation without straining, that’s 60 to 65 percent of Maximal Heart Rate (MHR), or 5 on the Rate of Perceived Exertion Scale (RPE) The faster or harder you run, the greater the risk of injury. Be patient and build endurance first before aiming to run faster.
  3. Walk breaks are strategically important and shouldn’t be viewed as a ‘kop out’. 80 percent of runners get injured, walk breaks aid in developing endurance and increasing safety while helping you to adapt to running by making it easier and more enjoyable, so by all means stop and smell the roses!
  4. Run at a comfortable pace. If you’re struggling, slow down.
  5. Long runs develop endurance, the foundation of distance running. This constitutes your most important workout.
  6. Use your smartwatch or phone to measure time and distance. Drive a route and map out distance using your car or run on a treadmill if that’s what is convenient. Whatever you do, have fun doing it.
  7. Rest days are full days off without running. Walking or other forms of training like boxing, swimming or yoga are optional. The added exercise will boost your running, just take it easy the day before your long run so that you don’t start this key workout on a back foot.
  8. Finally, plans change, life happens while you are living. If you need to rearrange training days, don’t bash yourself, go for it and do what needs to be done. Just shift the days forward or back or do your best to preserve the every-other-day plan.

Tiger Athletic is a modern, private, appointment only gym in Sandton, Johannesburg using a rigorous, results-focused methodology we are passionate about helping you be the healthiest version of yourself, so you can lead a more fulfilling personal and professional life.

Together changes everything. Let’s work out.

5km Run Training Guide

Week 1

  • Day 1: 5 Min Power Walk. 4 ‘Rounds’. 5 Min Easy Walk.
  • Day 2: Rest.
  • Day 3: 5 Min Power Walk. 6 ‘Rounds’. 5 Min Easy Walk.
  • Day 4: Rest or Cross Train.
  • Day 5: 5 Min Power Walk. 10 Minute Run. 5 Min Easy Walk.
  • Day 6: Rest or Cross Train.
  • Day 7: 800m Power Walk. 1.6km Run. 800m Easy Walk

Week 2

  • Day 1: 5 Min Power Walk. 4 ‘Rounds’. 5 Min Easy Walk.
  • Day 2: Rest.
  • Day 3: 5 Min Power Walk. 6 ‘Rounds’. 5 Min Easy Walk.
  • Day 4: Rest or Cross Train.
  • Day 5: 5 Min Power Walk. 15 Minute Run. 5 Min Easy Walk.
  • Day 6: Rest or Cross Train.
  • Day 7: 800m Power Walk. 1.6km Run. 800m Easy Walk

Week 3

  • Day 1: 5 Min Power Walk. 8 ‘Rounds’. 5 Min Easy Walk.
  • Day 2: Rest.
  • Day 3: 5 Min Power Walk. 20 Minute Run. 5 Min Easy Walk.
  • Day 4: Rest or Cross Train.
  • Day 5: 5 Min Power Walk. 5 ‘Rounds’. 5 Min Easy Walk.
  • Day 6: Rest or Cross Train.
  • Day 7: 800m Power Walk. 3.0km Run. 800m Easy Walk

Week 4

  • Day 1: 5 Min Power Walk. 20 Minute Run. 5 Min Easy Walk.
  • Day 2: Rest.
  • Day 3: 5 Min Power Walk. 25 Minute Run. 5 Min Easy Walk.
  • Day 4: Rest or Cross Train.
  • Day 5: 5 Min Power Walk. 25 Minute Run. 5 Min Easy Walk.
  • Day 6: Rest or Cross Train.
  • Day 7: 800m Power Walk. 4.0km Run. 800m Easy Walk

Week 5

  • Day 1: 5 Min Power Walk. 15 Minute Run. 5 Min Easy Walk.
  • Day 2: Rest.
  • Day 3: 5 Min Power Walk. 20 Minute Run. 5 Min Easy Walk.
  • Day 4: 3km Easy Run.
  • Day 5: Rest.
  • Day 6: 800m Power Walk.800m Easy Run. 800m Easy Walk.
  • Day 7: 5km Run!

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