First 5k any tips for beginners? Feel like I'm too slow

I've jumped back into working out. I've been at it since the beginning of April. Looking to lose 50 lbs. I signed up for a 5k thinking it'd be fun to challenge myself. Running isn't really my thing, but I'm doing it. I just feel like I run so slow. I more or less jog in my opinion. I think I average 20 min a mile. Any tips to get through the race? My goal is to just jog/walk and make it to the finish line. :) and stay away from the runners. I'm trying to keep up with my weekly workouts. I joke that I'll be dead last in the race! Which I doubt. I'm only in 4 1/2 weeks with training. I still think I'm in over my head. I'm still doing it though!


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12 Replies

  • Good for you for starting to keep fit. There is no right or wrong on speed when we are starting out: if you haven't exercised in a while before starting this programme, your body will need time to adjust & you will gradually pick up speed as you get fitter. No need to overdo things and get injured: that would set you back straight away. We are also all different: not all of us have a natural runners build. For example, I have lost weight and got a lot fitter by running, but with my short legs, there is no way I'm ever going to be a sprinter, and 4 minute miles are just going to be way out of my league, unless I spend 24/7 training and on a permanent diet. I love my food too much for that, and that ain't my goal either. I want running to be one tool in an arsenal of things that I do to have a healthy lifestyle, the key point being, it's a life! I run to live, not live to run, and it's easy to become obsessive about personal bests. I would highly recommend tracking your progress if it helps keep you motivated, but don't lose sight of the end goals: a healthier you. Best of luck, and let us know how you get on. You want to enjoy the race first: placing, and improving it, can be a goal to help keeping you go out training after this race is done.

  • What a great answer! Totally agree!!!

  • You have the right approach - just keep on doing it. Don't worry about speed, but that will come. Well done for starting and setting yourself a goal.

  • I'm with the others. I can't see when your race is, but regardless of how far into the program you'll be by race day, just enjoy it, it can be your benchmark :-) good luck!

  • Perhaps paradoxically, although this site is most definitely about running, it isn't particularly about speed. We all run at our own speed. Lots of people, me included, will post up saying that they've just gone a little faster or a little further than before. The rest of us will applaud simply because we all know how much effort it takes. It's a relative thing. No one here could possibly compete with the likes of Mo Farrah, but we all know how much effort he puts in because, relatively, we're all doing the same thing. This is a very long winded way of saying that it's your dedication and effort that counts, not your speed.

    And the race? Turn up early, hydrate a little, make sure you warm up - very important, start at the back and keep out of harms way ( I do). You say you're going to stay out of the way of the runners? I think you mean stay out of the way of the faster people - you, smoothie, are most definitely a runner.

  • well done you thats a brave thing to sign up to a race. Have you used the C25k podcasts to get to where you are? If not I recommend them, and then I would suggest using the C25k plus podcasts that include one called, 'speed', that will definitely get you quicker. Well done and good luck!!

  • Yes, I think to be honest most of us here will be a bit clueless to help someone who isn't getting into running via the NHS Couch to 5K programme even though of course lots of people do get into running other ways.

    I'd heartily endorse juicyju's suggestions and she's a woman who really knows where getting to grips with running can take you! If you've already started running then you'll have fewer demons to address perhaps in those earlier weeks... although you might still find Week 1 a killer.

  • I agree with all that has been said above. Maybe try the programme and you will be amazed we all have been. Good luck with whatever you decide and of course keep us posted.

  • I think we have all been in your position relatively speaking. If you maintain a reasonable running programme you may not feel as if your running any quicker but your times will gradually come down from what you running at the moment. What seems hard and slow today will in the future be your warm up.

  • It's definitely worth using C25K to give you structure, if you haven't already looked at it. Don't worry about pace, there's no such thing as too slow. I did my first Parkrun on Saturday with over 300 of us starting in a fairly narrow space. I know I am slow so I just lined up at the back of the start line and allowed the majority to hare off ahead. I think most people can work their way to 5k by building up distance incrementally.

  • Thanks everyone for your tips! I walked/jogged my 5k yesterday! It was fun and not what I expected at all. There were a lot of walkers compared to runners. Some were doing the 10k. My time was just under 1 hr! 57:45 with an average of 18:45 over mile. I really thought I'd end up taking longer. Felt awesome when I finished.

  • Congratulations!well done for trying,all you can do is your best and as long as you enjoy yourself and have fun then it dunt matter how long it takes u to complete.x

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