Calling all walkers! You’re invited to the U&R Worldwide 5K on Sunday 8 February. Today we’re looking at why a 5K race is not just rad for runners… it’s ideal for walkers, too!
How’s that for brilliant grammar?!
If walking is your primary form of exercise it can be easy to… take it easy. Easy is awesome, but if your goal is to get fitter a 5K race can add purpose to your perambulation. Many of our Up & Moving e-course walkers schedule in regular 5km “time trials” to see how their fitness is progressing. So if you plot out a neighbourhood route for the Worldwide 5K, you could make a new habit of walking it once a month and keep track of your times. Whether you’re a dedicated walker or aspire to join our 5K Course for runners, it’s a great way to gauge your progress.
I love waving the fuchsia pink pompoms for the amazing Up & Runners, sometimes I feel envious. But there are plenty of race opportunities for walkers, aside from our awesome virtual 5K, wink wink. Many events welcome walkers, particularly big ones like Race for Life or Race for the Cure. If I’m keen on a particular race I’ll look up the previous years results on the website. If the last-placed person is around my 5K time or slower, I take that as my green light!
Walking can be a solitary pursuit. Personally I like the quality time alone with my audiobooks, podcasts or chattering thoughts. But throwing in an occasional race never fails to reboot motivation levels. The race bibs, the electric atmosphere, the sights and sounds. Being part of an event always reminds me that moving is a joy and something I don’t want to take for granted.
Even better is racing with friends! My happiest races were with Up & Runners Clare, Honor and Julia K in Bologna. It’s a great excuse to hang out with awesome people and their company helps you stay present. The endorphin boost then carries over to your training walks. Bonus!
Here’s a way to jazz up your training to get ready for the big day, as devised by Coach Julia and tested by me. Walk 3 x 1km intervals, doing each kilometre done a little differently…
Time each kilometre and see which method works best for you. And by “works” we mean everything from which was fastest to which felt better. Which did you enjoy more? Which got your heart rate up most? Did one quieten your mind chatter more than another?
Enjoy experimenting with these techniques. You can incorporate them into your training sessions or adopt one of them for your 5K race strategy. Happy walking!
Whether it’s running or another life goal, we believe it’s essential to start with WHY. That’s how we find the oomph to take action when it’s face-numbing cold or sweltering hot outside!
With the U&R Worldwide 5K coming up on Sunday 8 February, we’re looking at why a 5K is a great idea for different levels of runners… and walkers!
We begin today with why the 5K is awesome for experienced runners. These tips not only apply to the Worldwide 5K, but to “real” 5K races too.
. . .
Back when I first organised a 5K race in my town, the most common response I got when inviting my runners to sign up was, “Only 5K? Sorry, that’s just too short for me.”
No matter how experienced you are, the 5K is never too short for you.
A habit I often see in endurance runners is treating every distance equally. Whether they go out to run 30 minutes or 90 minutes it’s always at the very same pace. They place quantity over quality and inevitably end up running slower. Even professional marathoners race shorter distances in order to keep their legs fresh and their motors revved.
If you’re a fan of endurance training here are some great ways to take advantage of the Worldwide 5K:
Warm up with a slow 30 minute then line up for your 5K. You’ll want to run and race at near threshold pace. Once you cross the finish line grab something to drink and then continue running another 30 minutes at a slow cool down pace.
There’s a direct correlation between your short distance speed and your long distance speed. So if you want to improve on that half marathon or marathon time, work on your shorter distances first, starting with your 5k.
A short race is a low-risk opportunity to experiment. Try running in progression – starting out slow and finishing at your top speed. Alternate between speeds at various distances. My favorite is 3 minutes “fast” and 3 minutes “slow”; repeat until you hit the finish line.
Anyone who has ever paced other runners in a race declares it to be the most gratifying running experience of all. Offering your time and energy, helping someone else accomplish a goal, what could be better than that?
Tune in Friday to find out why the 5K is awesome for walkers.
At long last our beginners running book UP AND RUNNING has hit the shelves! We are excited. So excited that we’re sporting the same expressions of demented glee that we did on the day we shot the photos for the book…
Now we want to share that joy with you.
Back in autumn when planning how to mark this moment, Julia and I were feeling sad that since the Up & Running gang is spread so far and wide around the planet we wouldn’t be able to gather everyone in the same place at the same time to celebrate the book that this community helped us create.
We decided to do something that everyone can take part in, no matter where you are. And in keeping with the philosophy of the book, we also want to celebrate the general awesomeness of running – particularly the friendship and sparkle it can bring into one’s life, if you just give it a red hot go…
Sooo, we invite you to join us on Sunday 8 February for the first annual Up & Running Worldwide 5k!
Whether you run or walk…. solo or with family or friends or a dog or total strangers… all you need to do to join in this virtual event is map out a 5km/3 mile route… print out our snazzy personalised Official Race Bib and pin it to your shirt… then run for it!
If you share a pic of your “race” on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and tag it #upandrunning5k you’ll also be in the draw to win one of a pile of great prizes, including copies of UP AND RUNNING, places on our e-courses , Rock the 10K and Bridge to 10K downloads, and a copy of our kickass training diary.
Find out more on the Worldwide 5K page and stay tuned to the blog for lots of tips on planning and racing your Worldwide 5K event. Hope to “see” you there… it’ll be ace!
I settled into my court side seat at my eleven year old son’s basketball practice, taking in the scene before opening my laptop to finish some work. A new boy had joined the team and stood in front of the coach.
“So, what should I do?” he asked as he held the ball in both hands. He looked eager and excited; innocent in that way eleven year old boys are before the hormones hit.
“Just play. Go shoot some hoops then in five minutes you’ll be warmed up and ready for practice.”
The kid slowly walked away, trying to bounce the ball but not quite coordinating himself.
The team Evan belongs to welcomes anyone who wants to play, as opposed to other teams that cherry pick winning players in order to top the tournament. I started typing away, glancing up at the action now and then. That’s when I saw the new kid sitting on a chair in the far corner of the gym. His head was slumped forward, his shoulders shaking with sobs. My maternal heart strings tugging, I walked over and sat down next to him.
I touched his shoulder. “Hey, are you okay? What’s happening?”
“I’m not as good as the other kids. I can’t keep up with them. I want to go home…”
“You know, I’ve been watching you and for someone that only started ten minutes ago you’re really pretty good! Most of these guys have been playing for years and some of them still aren’t even that good, but they keep coming to practice and trying. I think you just need to practice some more.”
By now he had stopped crying and was listening, so I told him about Evan’s recent drama.
Ev has been playing basketball since first grade, and even though they’ve always had mini-tournaments, this past year was first he’d played in “real” games. He’s only eleven but was asked to play with the Under-13 group for his ability and height. The first game was brutal and they lost by over 100 points. He came home crying and wanted to quit.
“Why do you want to quit? You love basketball!”
“I’m not good enough… and it’s all my fault… and I get too anxious if everything doesn’t go perfectly.”
BINGO! We’d hit on the real problem.
I told him that sport reflects real life and I’d noticed that he had these same issues of “perfection” in his school and home life. He could use this basketball situation to work on this, and see that the most important thing was to do his best and let the situation take its course. He also had to remember that he was an important part of a team. Leaving them would also be letting them down, so he had to really think about that.
With the help of his coach we got him back on the court and he’s happily playing again. Sometimes the team wins, but now Evan has learned how to lose as well. Whenever I see his perfectionist anxiety creep in his studies I bring him back to the basketball situation and remind him to keep doing his best.
The little guy sniffed as I told him the story. He said he didn’t think he’d ever get good at basketball and just wanted to go home. As I handed him my phone he thanked me for our chat. His father came a few minutes later and as he walked out of the gym I couldn’t help feeling a little sad.
By now you may be asking, “What the heck does this story have to do with running?”
When I coach runners, whether it’s for a 5K race or the marathon, their personality and character always comes out in those training sessions. Just like Evan wanted to quit basketball after one bad game, I’ve seen runners want to quit because of one bad race. Women runners are especially guilty of defining their entire self worth on one single training session where they didn’t hit their desired times. I’ve coached several men that would only sign up for races where they thought they could run a PR (personal record), never ever running recreationally.
What I love about sports – about running – is that it can be a “safe” environment to work out your little quirks and issues. You can dare yourself to relax about not performing the perfect workout, or push yourself like you’ve never done before. It’s a span of time that allows you to work on strengthening your character, one mile at a time.
Your 8 week plan to go from zero – 5k and discover the life changing power of running. Order now »