Setting goals is a great way to get out of an exercise rut, and scheduled fitness events like 5K runs provide both a goal and a hard deadline. Rick Lademann, cofounder of Naples-based fitness center Beyond Motion, says anyone can train for a 5K or half-marathon and that having one as a goal can help your results.
“Anything in fitness that’s vague … you’re not going to get great outcomes,” he explains.
Ready to give it a try? You have your pick of winter and spring events, like the Barron Collier Companies Naples Half Marathon in January. Lademann notes it may take from around six weeks to a few months to train, depending on your fitness level and the type of event. If you’re new to running, he recommends starting with a quarter mile and walking the remainder of the mile, then setting goals that gradually increase distance.
The wrong move, he says, is to try to run a 5K all at once, as it takes training and a foundation. He also recommends working with a coach to better understand your body and to maximize performance.
“Your body wants movement, and movement is like medicine,” he says. “The better you get into a system and the better you get into that rhythm, the more you’re going to enjoy the process.”