As more and more people learn about the benefits that come with running, more and more people are running. And for many years, the most popular organized race in the United States has been the 5K. According to Running USA’s 2020 road race participation statistics (the most recent released), 8.9 million runners registered to run a 5K in 2019.
There are several reasons why the 5K race is so popular, particularly among beginning runners:
- The training gets you in shape at a safe pace.
- The training doesn’t consume your schedule.
- The training allows more time for other kinds of workouts.
- You can participate in both competitive and casual 5K events.
If you’re thinking about getting into running, signing up for a 5K can be a fulfilling way to start — and you can do it on the cheap. Before you set out, take a look at these budget-friendly tips from Sabrina Kirkland Acupuncture for getting what you need and training for your 5K.
Use Deals to Get Your Gear
Finding new running gear is not only fun; it’s also important. The gear you use plays a major role in helping you maintain your health and avoid injury. A quality pair of running shoes and the right running apparel make a big difference. Of course, gear can also be fun! For example, if you enjoy listening to music, podcasts, or audiobooks while you train, look into a good set of headphones. There are many different options available (in-ear, over-the-ear, etc.), so find one that feels right for you — especially if this will help motivate you to keep at it.
As a beginner, you may need to purchase several items at once, which can put a ding in your budget. However, there’s an abundance of online coupons and cashback offers and opportunities that can help you save a lot of money.
Get a Medicare Advantage Plan
If you’re a senior, it may be worth your time looking into the various Medicare Advantage plans. Not only can you get dental, vision, preventative care and other coverage, but a Humana Medicare Advantage plan, for example, can provide you with membership to SilverSneakers — a fitness program for older adults. Through SilverSneakers, you can train at many different fitness centers across the country, and there are no additional costs.
Track Your Progress
Another piece of equipment you might consider investing in is a smartwatch. It’s not a deal-breaker, but a good smartwatch can track your activity and help you stay on top of your health and safety. For instance, the latest Apple Watch models will monitor your heart rate, generate an electrocardiogram (ECG), detect falls, and connect you with emergency services if necessary. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 and the Fitbit Versa 3 fitness tracker are worthy alternatives.
Create a Routine
When it comes to training, there are three primary categories you should focus on: running, strength training, and resting. These can be done for little to no cost, as you can run around your neighborhood or town and you don’t need weights for strength training.
Start with running three days a week, alternating between running and walking. If you’re coming straight from the couch, don’t run more than a mile for your first couple of runs. Over several weeks, build up your endurance to run 1.5 miles, 2 miles, 2.5 miles and so on until you can run 3.1 miles somewhat comfortably.
It’s important to incorporate strength training because it diversifies your fitness and helps you to prevent injury. Plan on strength training two days a week (separate days from running), and do 20-minute workouts involving movements like planks, bird-dogs, leg lifts, crunches, and glute bridge lifts. Yoga is another great way to build strength, and it can also improve your flexibility.
Finally, be sure to rest for two days a week. This part is just as important as running and strength training because your body and mind will not be able to perform at full capacity without having proper time to recover and regenerate. Incorporating a treatment from Sabrina Kirkland Acupuncture is a great way to make the most of your days off from pounding the pavement. Whether you choose reflexology to soothe your hardworking feet, auricular acupuncture for holistic wellness, or aromatherapy to melt your stress away, her treatment options will rejuvenate you during your treatment and long after!
Participating in a 5K race is the perfect cost-effective introduction to running. Remember to get everything you need, from the right insurance plan to the right running gear. Come up with a weekly routine that balances running, strength training, and resting. Lastly, don’t be surprised if you fall in love with running; it tends to have that effect when you start experiencing the benefits!
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