It’s that time of the year when friends, relatives and colleagues queue up with sponsorship forms, asking for sponsorship for their latest charity run. But what if you want to do one yourself? Training for a 5K charity run like Race for Life can seem a bit daunting, but with a little bit of preparation and a lot of perseverance, you’ll run the race in record time and raise plenty of dosh for your favourite charity. Here are our top tips:
- Get the right kit
Before you start running, there are a few things you need to have in your wardrobe. Trainers, of course, are essential. If you plan on keeping up running after the race, it’s worth going to a specialist shop for advice, and investing in a good pair which will support you properly. There’s nothing worse than bad blisters! A good sports bra like the Panache Sports Bra is another must; comfort and support should be your priority here to minimise any pain or damage that can occur from exercise.
- Make a training plan – and stick to it!
There’s plenty of advice out there from experts to help you create a training plan. The key is to make sure you have enough time to properly prepare before the race, and to not push yourself too far, too quickly. Start small and work up, especially if you’re not used to running. If you’re starting from scratch, why not try the Couch-to-5K app? You should aim to run around three times a week, with rest days after harder runs to help your muscles recover. Then, once you’ve got your training plan sorted, pop it somewhere you can see it – and stick to it!
- Eat well
Eating well will help you to train harder for your run. Complex carbohydrates like those found in raw fruit and veg, whole grains and legumes will give you the energy you need for your runs, and lean proteins like chicken, tuna and yoghurt will give your muscles what they need to recover and repair, ready for next time. Try to avoid sugary foods before your training sessions – they may give you energy to start, but they’ll send you crashing after a while, which won’t work out well if you’re in the middle of a run! Hydration is also super important, so drink lots of water before and after the run.
- Find a buddy
It’s not essential, but having a friend along for the ride with you will make it lots more fun! Having someone to chat to will keep you going for longer, and if you make a commitment between you, it will keep you on track. Plus, two people running the race means double the money for charity – so it’s really a win-win situation.
Are you planning on doing a 5K charity run this year?