Get in Shape This Fall With a 5K Running Race

Running is one of the best ways to get in shape. It requires minimal equipment. You can run anywhere, anytime. Running is instinctual to our bodies. And the more you practice, the more fun it gets.

A 5K running race is a great excuse to get in shape. By registering for a future race, you are setting a goal for yourself, and a deadline. Goal-setting and timelines are important factors to getting in shape.

Running for fun.

Many of the 5K races have fun themes. Some encourage runners’ participation, and they have costume contests.

Some of the themes for 5Ks are based on holidays. There are many Turkey, or Gobbler, Runs on Thanksgiving Day. St. Patrick’s Day, New Year’s Eve or Day, July 4th (Independence Day), and Oktoberfest are all popular times for races. Around the U.S., you can find a race celebrating just about every special occasion.

There are many 5Ks, and running races of all lengths, hosted in the fall. This is when temperatures are cooler. Leaves are changing, providing scenic backgrounds. And people like to be involved in community events.

Many 5Ks are fundraisers. So, in addition to the good cause of getting in shape and preventing disease, you can feel good about raising money for non-profit organizations like:

* Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society
* National Arthritis Foundation
* Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and
* National Alzheimer’s Association

Getting ready.

A 5K means 5 kilometers, or 3.17 miles. To train yourself, there are a few general guidelines.
First, you want to increase your mileage, or your intensity, by no more than 10% each week. For example, if you run two miles three times per week, then increase one of your runs each week to 2 ½ miles. Work up to running 3 miles a few times per week.

After you run your 5K, you will realize that they are not so difficult. You may be inspired to train for a longer race, such as a 10K or ½ marathon, or even a full marathon (26.2 miles). There are several national organizations with which you can train, such as Team in Training (for Leukemia fundraising), Joints in Motion (Arthritis awareness), and groups through local running stores.

If you start running with groups or other individuals in your area, then you are more likely to stay motivated and stay in shape, and run more 5Ks!

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