Are You Ready to Tackle a 5k?

Author: Jackie Culver

Ready for a 5K race

First of all, exactly how long is a 5k?

Personally, the metric system terrified me when I was in 3rd grade. The only reason I ever got the hang of this whole kilometer thing was because of my love of road races! So, back to the original question, a 5k is 3.1 miles.  I live in sunny Florida, and in the Spring, there is a 5k almost every weekend.  The great thing about this particular distance is that it draws people of all levels. You will find everything from elite runners to chatty walkers.

So are you ready to try a 5K race?

On average a person walks about a twenty minute mile. If you are sedentary, then I would suggest starting with a 20 minute walk. If you find this difficult, then you have a little work to do. Keep at it until 20 minutes seems easy, then add a little time on. Once you work up to an hour, then you are ready to give it a go.  Also, you can get in the car and map out a three mile course in your neighborhood.  When three miles become doable, it’s time to sign up!

Now let’s say you’ve been walking for a while and are ready to run. Great!  You will want to slowly start adding running intervals to your walking routine.  Always start off walking to warm up and finish with walking to cool down.  Make sure not to overdo it when you start. Try running for 1 minute and walking for 5. Gradually make your running intervals longer and your walking intervals shorter until you can run continuously for 30 minutes. Now you are ready!

Community races are so much fun and can really have a party atmosphere. Many of them are also held to raise money for good causes, like the Shannon Miller Lifestyle Women’s 5k on April 7th.  Sign up at

Check out Shannon after her first 5k since finishing up chemo for Ovarian Cancer!

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