6 Steps to Rock a 5K

lady jogging on sidewalkYou’ve decided you want to run a 5K. (Whoo hoo! Good for you! Pat yourself on the back!)

If it’s your first 5K, or it has been a while since you’ve run a race, it’s difficult to determine just where to start and how to properly prepare.

With races, such as Susan G. Komen Lowcountry’s Rock Pink 5K coming up on May 23 here in Charleston, we thought it was the perfect time to share 6 steps to rocking out a 5K!

1.    Register for a run

Why register for a run that you haven’t started training for? This ignites the fire under you to get your rear end in gear. When you have a clear-cut goal to work towards, you are less likely to cop out of your runs.

2.    Create a training calendar working up to 5k

Especially if this is your first 5k, create a training calendar to work up to this distance. Each week, add extra distance to your run.

Be sure to pencil in stretches and muscle building exercises, which are also an important part of training. Building up endurance is the key to a successful 5k, but don’t forget to include a rest day each week so your muscles can recuperate.

3.    Choose appropriate gear

Just as a football player needs the best helmet and shoulder pads, runners need the appropriate gear as well. Worn-out running shoes can cause damage to your joints and muscles. This being said, don’t show up to race day with a fresh-out-of-the-box pair of shoes—be sure to break them in a bit before a big race. Don’t forget to check the weather the week up to the race, so you’ll be prepared with the appropriate workout clothes to wear.

4.    Create a music play list

Create the ultimate playlist that will keep you moving! Make sure this playlist lasts for the duration of the run. Our recommendation: make a few, and alternate them so you’re not tired of the songs by race day.

5.    Find a running buddy

When you’re not feeling like jumping out of bed before dawn or dragging yourself out after work, it makes all the difference when you have a running buddy. You’re more likely to head to a workout when you know someone else is counting on you. When choosing your exercise partner, be sure you are both at about the same running level so that you can push each other.

6.    Eat the right food before and after runs

What you put into your body is the fuel for your workouts. Your body needs different things before a run versus after a run. However, this isn’t marathon training—no giant bowls of mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese on these lists! Just small, healthy snacks to boost your energy.


  • Berries and low-fat cottage cheese
  • Honey and Greek yogurt
  • Carrots and hummus


  • Bananas
  • Protein bars
  • Fruit smoothies

Support the Susan G. Komen Lowcountry Foundation, at the Rock Pink 5K on May 23.