top of page
  • Writer's pictureSave On Sneaks

The Best Beginners Guide to 5k Running 2023

Updated: Mar 17

couple 5K running

Running a 5k is Excellent for Both Your Mental and Physical Health

Training early will ensure that you build endurance and core strength. If you do not train, you could easily injure yourself during the 5K.

In case you are worried about running such a long distance, a 5K is only 3.1 miles. To ensure that you do well and have a good time, you must train early.

The earlier you start preparing, the better you will feel during and after the race. Here are essential training tips for beginners.

Warm-up and warm down

Before running, make sure that you warm up thoroughly. Warm-up stretches your muscles, reduces soreness, warms your body, and increases blood flow to your muscles.

It also reduces the risk of injuries and enhances your flexibility. Make sure that you do some high kicks, jumping jacks, and sideways skips.

Always make sure you do this before you start running. After you are done with your running practice, make sure that you warm down using stretches.

A good warm-down will allow your body to cool down and your blood pressure and heart rate to back to normal levels.

It can also help reduce lactic acid build-up in the muscles and protect you from muscle cramps.

Running Gear

running gear

It is crucial to have the right gear for training. If you decide to run in your couch sweater, you will probably get too warm and give up before finishing the first kilometer.

Ensure that you pick light, breathable clothes to run in, so you are comfortable throughout your run.

Pick your shoes carefully too. It is not advisable to wear any flat shoes in your house to run in as they will not have the right amount of traction, and you risk slip and fall injuries.

Running shoes are made specifically for running, so they are comfortable to wear and protect your feet from blisters.

They cushion your forefoot and heel. It is advisable to choose running shoes that are light, stable, and comfortable to run in.

After you pick the shoes, make sure that you train in them as it is unwise to run in brand new shoes. Check out These Cross Trainers

Build up the Distance

Since this is the first time you are running, it is not advisable to start by running 5 kilometers. You will be exhausted, and it may discourage you from training.

Secondly, you might get terrible muscle soreness because you are not accustomed to that exercise type.

Start by running 1 or 2 kilometers first and build up your endurance. If you have not been exercising, consider running and then walking for a bit for the entire distance.

If you are training with fitter people, do not be discouraged and work at your own pace.

Keep increasing the distance until you can comfortably run the full 5 kilometers.


Pick your running technique because, unlike a marathon, 5k races are high-intensity races. It, however, can be challenging to run fast throughout during your first race.

You can tweak your technique to improve your posture, time and protect you from injury. When running, make sure that you keep a straight posture, engage your core, and keep your arms pumping.

You can also practice pushing your hips forward and landing your feet under your hips.

Find something that works for you and helps you run faster and use it. You can also check out the running techniques of famous runners and borrow one or two things from them.

Interval training

Strength Training Workout

You are training for a race, so it is crucial to ensure that you work on your speed. That said, ascertain that you can comfortably complete the 5 kilometers before you start working on speed.

Interval training refers to a series of high-intensity sprints followed by short periods of rest. You can start with a 500m warm-up run, then three 400meter sprints with 2 minutes rest in between them.

After that, you can do one 800 meter sprint and a 500-meter warm-down, and you will have completed a 3-kilometer run. You can keep changing the distances as you become fitter.

Sustainable Speed

To do well during a 5k, find a comfortable pace. It is not advisable to start on a sprint as you will be too winded to complete the race.

Take your time during the race to identify a comfortable speed for yourself. If you are training with your friends, ensure that their pace does not dictate yours.

Take your time to learn your pace and find one where your heart and breathing rate are at a comfortable level.


What you eat and drink is very important to your success during the 5K. Make sure that you stay hydrated during training and the race.

It is advisable to have an energy bar or a banana 40 minutes before running to ensure that it is digested and you still have the energy for the run.

Make sure that after every training session, you eat something high in protein to help in muscle repair and build-up.

Ensure that you do not eat foods high in fiber right before running as you will get stomach cramps.

It is essential to take your time and pick foods that work for you and that you like.

Strength Train

Having a Great Training Coach Is Important

Strength training workouts will ensure that you remain injury-free during the race. There are exercises like bicycle crunches, planks, side planks, and leg lifts that you can try.

These will help you build up your strength for the race. Strength training will increase your joint flexibility, build muscle mass and give you stronger bones.

Scope the Course

Make sure that you run the 5k route before the big day. If you can practice running the course once or twice a week, you will be better prepared for the race.

You will also learn the terrain and know what to expect during the race. If you know where the hills are, you will be able to pace yourself and conserve energy for steep portions of the course.

Running a 5K for the first time is a big moment. Use the above training tips to ensure that you finish the race.

The advice given on this website does not constitute or replaces medical advice.

Please consult with a doctor before starting any exercise or nutrition plan.

bottom of page