Racing Toward our Company 5k

There are so many perks to working in the health industry. One of the best, in my opinion, is being surrounded by people who jump on the bandwagon for health-inspired activities and events. This is exactly what happened when we decided we wanted, as a company, to sign up for our first 5k of 2017. Although we have done several in the past, we decided this one would be different. We would train as a team in the weeks leading up to the event, with the goal of crossing the finish-line together. Below are the steps we took to get our goal off the ground, and hopefully these tips can get you started on the path to running your first 5k this year, too.

Create Your Social Support
I always considered myself a bit of a lone wolf in terms of exercising. I did not think that running with others could really benefit me; my thought was: “Won’t all the talking slow me down?” However, I could not have been more wrong. Creating your social support or tribe will help keep you on track and motivate you by being surrounded by like-minded individuals who share a common goal. I know for our team, there is always at least one person who will motivate the others who might not want to train that day. And when running, we have started to learn the abilities of our coworkers, so we as a team know when someone might need that extra push to finish strong, or when that person needs a break to walk it out.

Set Your Date
One of the most important aspects of setting a goal is having a specific time table. Of course, it is amazing to get out there and start running, however, it is even better to know what day you will actually be racing. When you know the date of your 5K, you will know how to pace your training schedule. You will also have a better understanding of how high to set the bar for yourself when it comes time for race day. Personally for us, we started training a little more than two months in advance, giving us a nice amount of time to be able to realistically train for running the entire distance.

Get Your Equipment
I can’t even begin to emphasize the importance of having the right gear to making your training sessions as hassle-free as possible. On my first run with the team, I was not prepared. Personally, I usually run near my neighborhood, so a water bottle and sets of keys are not things I needed to take into consideration. However, running after work, I needed to focus on where to put my keys and my water bottle, so my water wouldn’t be hot from sitting in my car. Investing in a running belt was an amazing purchase. I can comfortably tuck my water bottle, keys, and even my phone in my pack and run to my heart’s content. Also, make sure your shoes are designed for running. Without the proper footwear, you may be setting yourself up for aches, pains, and blisters–and ultimately failure. If you are running during the day, make sure you are protecting your skin with sunblock, and pack yourself a towel…you are probably going to sweat!

Download the App
Having a realistic guideline to follow will prepare you for your race day, and it can really make or break your success. For us, the free app “C25k” has really been instrumental for us staying on track and making sure we are increasing our running time in a slow, steady way. Although there are so many different apps out there, personally, this one works for me because of the ease of use. Each day starts with a motivational quote, inspiring you no matter what kind of day you may have had, and voice commands let you know when you are finished with your warm-up walk, when to switch between running and walking, and when you are in your cool down phase. I am able to put my phone in my runner’s pack and not have to worry about staring at the screen, which allows me to focus on my run and be in the moment!