Overuse injuries such as strains and sprains are common amongst runners during 5k training. The truth is that regardless of the distance, you need to slowly build up your body’s ability over time. What we cover here today will help you avoid getting injured, regardless of the distance you want to run, but is specifically targeted towards those wishing to run a 5K.
A 5K is 5,000m or 3.26 miles, a distance that does not seem very intimidating, especially when compared to a Half Marathon (13.1 miles). This is where the problem lies. Most people wouldn’t just show up to a half marathon without preparing, but 5Ks are a different story. The short distance deceives people into thinking it is no big deal.
They overlook two big points:
- Difficulty of exercise is relative to that specific individual and what he or she is used to doing on a regular basis.
- Excelling in one aspect of fitness does not mean you will be great in another. For example, if you strength train regularly that does not mean you are well excel in a yoga class or as a runner.
Your body will adapt to whatever lifestyle you live. If you sit a lot your body will change depending on what muscles are used and how. This change can be good or bad but it is important to understand because if you are not a runner, a 5K can be surprisingly challenging. And the 5K training can also be challenging.
The above applies to all but keep in mind that if you do regularly workout, while you may not excel in an area that is foreign to you, you are capable of adjusting faster than someone who is a couch potato.
For example, if you regularly strength train and decide to run a 5K, you may be just fine starting your 5K training four weeks out. Someone who does no exercises may need six or more weeks.
To avoid 5K Training injuries, allow yourself enough time to train.
For strength training, the best option is to get a trainer who can assess you and give you specific workouts based on your needs.
Generally, runners need to do higher reps (12+) total body exercises that focus on leg training and balance training. The workouts are meant to increase your muscular endurance and prevent injury by helping you strengthen muscles and joints.
The following workout is meant to help your body adjust to resistance and focuses on areas that need to be strengthened to avoid injury.
Sample Day 1 Workout:
- 1a. Glute Bridges 3×15
1b. Low Row 3×15
- 2a. Forward Lunges 3×10/e
2b. Bench Press 3×12-15
- 3a. Pull Ups/Lat Pulldown 3×12-15
3b. Swiss Ball Ab Rollout 3×10
- 4a. Squats 3×15
4b. Hamstring Curls on Med Ball 3×15