Eyeing your first 5K? Pat yourself on the back. Signing up for a race is a great way to give focus and intention to every workout and reap the benefits of running.
But without foundational strength and stability, running can take a toll on your joints, especially after a long break or if you increase mileage too quickly.
Thankfully, that doesn’t make running off-limits to newbies.
It just means you need to start slow, with a smart, well-rounded program. With that in mind, read on to learn how you can train for a 5K in a month (safely).
How to Train for a 5K in a Month
As with losing fat or building strength, having a plan is the best way to train for a 5K in a month.
Like a detailed road map, a quality workout plan gets you from point A to point B with maximum efficiency and minimal chance of injury. Haphazard exercising won’t.
Most important in that process is building up mileage and intensity gradually from one workout to the next. Beachbody’s 30 Day Breakaway does this, alternating the length and perceived intensity of running intervals during workouts and mixing in strength work along the way.
Led by Super Trainer and track-and-field athlete Idalis Velazquez, it’s a running and resistance-training challenge made for rapid results — that’s suitable for beginners as well as advanced runners.
With three different calendars to follow, you can safely train to run a 5K in 30 days, no matter your fitness level or time constraints.
Why Do I Need Strength Training to Run a 5K?
Running can be hard on your joints, but strength training can help get your muscles more equipped to handle the load better. That’s because strength training is the most efficient way to shore up and stabilize your joints.
“By adding in unilateral and balance training, you place an added focus on the core and glutes, which help to stabilize you and keep your body in proper running alignment,” says Cody Braun, CPT, Assistant Manager of Fitness at Beachbody.
The glutes help to prevent your knees from twisting or buckling during your running workouts while strengthening your calves does the same for your ankles. Core strength, meanwhile, keeps your lower back feeling good.
In 30 Day Breakaway, you’ll lift to build lean muscle and then head out for runs with Idalis in your ear as she guides you every step of the way.
This dynamic combo of running and resistance training will help you incinerate fat as you build strength, endurance, speed, and total-body power.
Why Cardio Alone Isn’t Enough
Long term, says Braun, “our bodies will tend to lose muscle over time, especially with a heavy focus on cardio.” Strength training helps combat muscle loss, so you hold onto — and even increase — strength and muscle size as you get more and more fleet of foot.
Cardiovascular exercise —like cycling, swimming, or rowing — can be a great adjunct to a running program. At a fast enough pace, all those options improve cardiovascular fitness and, thus, make you a stronger runner.
But to stay strong — and well-rounded — you need to make strength training a regular part of your routine.
Looking for a program that will power you through your first 5K feeling great?
Beachbody’s 30 Day Breakaway is for anyone who needs guidance in building a running foundation, someone who wants to run their first 5K, or experienced runners who want to improve and get the most out of their runs.
It’s the perfect choice if you’re looking for a running program paired with resistance training for the ultimate fat-burn.