May 29, 2014

How to prepare for a 5km race, running only once per week.

how to prepare running race
photo court Run 2 Cure Neuroblastoma

As I've mentioned before, I will be participating in the Run 2 Cure Neuroblastoma Fun Run on Sunday the 22nd June, so I thought I'd share with you how I have been preparing and training for this particular event.

If you are new to running, or would like to start then you should check out my Running 101 series which gives you an awesome list of reasons to run, some running tips for beginners, and some ways you can stay motivated and improve performance.  

In the past, I have only ever raced when I have been training 2-6 times a week.  My last race was pre-babies so it has been quite a little while now, and running 6 times a week is definitely not an option for me these days.  Before starting my preparation for this particular race, I worked out my schedule and realised that I could only commit to one run per week for the months leading up to the eventAs any runner probably knows, one run per week is not ideal race preparation, but you have to work with the time you have available.

So if you are time-limited but interested in running in a fun run, or simply just getting fitter and increasing your distance and time, then here are a few tips for making your one run per week count:

1.  Prepare early:

If you are going to be ready for your event, then it is advisable to start months in advance, that way you have time to build up to your goal distance.

2.  Make it count

When you are only running once per week, you have to make it count.  I really try to push myself each week while I run - not to the point that I am in lots of pain the following days - but to the point that I come away from my run knowing I gave it nearly everything.

3.  Finish strong

I always try to finish strong, at the fastest pace that I can go.  I start at a comfortable pace and build up my pace over the duration of the run so that by the last kilometre, and the last 500m even more so, I am really pushing to 100% of my ability.  By finishing strong it is training my body to be able to go further next time.  Having a good running app, and a good running watch will help you keep track of your pace.

4.  Get in the zone

Because I am only running once per week, I find it really easy to stay motivated and push myself during that run.  I turn on some music to help get me pumped and get 'in the zone'.  Mentally, I almost treat it as a race so that I am able to push myself and get the results I need.  Set a goal for your run, whether it is distance, time or pace, focus on your breathing and on pushing through the tiredness.

5.  Overtrain

Not in the sense that you are training too much or too hard, but simply be regularly running further than your race distance so that come race day, your race distance will seem easier than your regular training run.  For my 5km race, I am to be running 6km at a decent pace prior to race day, so hopefully on race day I will be able to complete a PB (personal best) or reach my race goal time.

So as you can see, even if you have limited time, even if you are only able to workout/run once per week, you can still make a difference to your overall fitness.  You can still get started achieving your fitness goals.  You just have to get the right mindset, make it count and make it work for you.

Happy training!

If you would like to know more about why I am running in the Run 2 Cure Neuroblastoma fun run then read about Evie here.  Or if you would like to donate to sponsor me and support this wonderful cause then please head here.  I'd be so appreciative and no donation is too small!