Male marathon runner ready to run race.Have you ever wanted to run in a 5K—the first step to eventually running in a 10K—but you don’t quite know how to begin? Then you’ve come to the right place! Whether you exercise regularly (but don’t run) or you’ve made this year the year you’ll stop the sedentary lifestyle, prepping for your first 5K is the perfect opportunity to test your endurance and get in the zone. Here’s how to succeed with every stride you take.

Invest in Runner’s Shoes (Don’t Skip This Step!)

Every type of shoe offers emoting a little different, and when it comes to running, nothing is more important than footwear! If this is your first 5K, then you need to know the little side effects with a 3.1 mile run. You run the risk of blisters, sore feet and discomfort. But, when you pick a shoe that fits you correctly (not squishing you toes, but not leaving too much wiggle room) and gives you the proper ankle support you need, you minimize the pain and maximize the pleasure of a good, hard run!

One Actionable Step at a Time

The beauty of a 5K for even the most inexperienced runner is that it’s a small taste of what a run feels like. Since it’s a 5K, that means you’ll be running just a little over 3 miles. The average beginner can complete that in just about 30-40 minutes. The goal is to prep ahead of time by taking it one step at a time—literally. Start the beginning of each week with a goal, such as running for one mile, three days a week in order to build up your endurance.

Improve Your Time Every Week

Once you’ve gotten a little familiar with the three, one mile runs for a week or two, it’s time to increase that old endurance of yours! Set a new milestone, such as running two miles at three times a week. After two weeks of doing that, run three miles, five times a week. Give yourself a few days off before the 5K to rejuvenate, and then go full speed ahead!finish line ahead - Yellow road warning sign

Find Your Pace, Get in the Zone

Here’s one piece of advice: if you’re training for your first 5K indoors, such as on the treadmill at your gym, realize that an indoor run is different than an outdoor run. Once you are running 3 miles indoors, switch up your workout that final week or two before the 5K to run outdoors, and experience what that is like. As you do, you’ll improve your endurance and really get yourself primed and ready for race day! Once the race is over, feel free to treat yourself with a big stack of pancakes. You deserve it!