5 Tips for a Successful First 5K

Okay, we want you to feel encouraged and excited to participate in our Run for Hope 5K at Valley Natural Foods on May 2, 2015 at 8:00 a.m.! You should feel pumped up as not only are you making a great decision for your health, but proceeds from registration costs go toward improving the health of our next generation! Yes, all the proceeds from the Run for Hope 5K will be donated to The Foundation for Early Childhood Family Services (ECFS), helping support Dakota County LANA (Learning About Nutrition through Activities) curriculum and the construction of a playground for children attending classes at the Dakota Valley Learning Center.

However, what if you’ve never participated in a 5K before and you don’t know where to start? The important thing that to remember is that you don’t have to be a runner to participate! This is truly a family event, so we encourage you to run walk, or stroll, the race and to go at your own pace! However, if you are interested in rebooting your routine and revving up your fitness plan, this may be a fun training plan to help get you started.

  1. Sign up today! It’s only $25 for adults to register until February 28 (it goes up to $30 March 1) and $15 for youth (ages 6-16) until May 2. This is a really a small fee to pay for a wonderful incentive to keep you accountable for your training and stay healthy. So go for it! Click here to register today.
  2. Once you are registered, it’s time to get organized and find places to run. It’s important to look for safe, traffic-free routes such as bike paths or parks. Remember that soft surfaces that include dirt and grass are better for your feet than paved ones! Click here to scope out Dakota County Parks many, diverse trail maps in our area for the perfect path.
  3. Buy the right shoes! The last thing you want are ill-fitting shoes when you are trying to get in shape for a 5K! We recommend trying a local specialty shoe shop such as Run ‘n Fun, The Running Room, or REI as their goal is to properly fit your feet with the correct shoe based upon your needs!
  4. Stick to your plan! Don’t try to do too much at once or go too fast! Because you’ve just registered to run our 5K, you may want to push yourself really hard to run as fast as you can. However, this could lead to injury so it’s important to follow and stick to your individual plan. We recommend that your individual plan include spending at least the next four weeks running and/or walking to the point where you can keep a quick pace where it is easy to talk without trying to catch your out of breath! Increase your distance weekly, starting at one mile and going up from there as it is comfortable for you.
  5. Create a Run for Hope 5K running team! Keeping yourself accountable for your 5K goal is so much easier when you have a team to support you. What’s new this year for our run is that you can create a personal running team of 5 or more on and save $2 per registrant, guaranteeing instant motivation to finish on May 2! Click here to learn more.

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