Prepping for a 5K? Try a County Park
It's the Sunshine State and that often allows for time in the great outdoors having fun and doing physical activities, such as preparing for a 5K run. Beginners shouldn't be intimidated by the 5K distance. This 3.1-mile jaunt is a physically possible activity for those in good health. Here are some tips for beginning runners:
- Start slow- One common mistake newcomers make when training is to immediately run the distance without starting slow with the run/walk method. You can walk for 45 seconds, run for 15 seconds, and then repeat the process for 30 minutes. As the weeks progress, slowly increase the run time and decrease the walk time.
- Drink water - Another important recommendation is to always stay hydrated. It is very easy to forget your water intake, increasing the risk of heat exhaustion, especially in the summer. Be sure to carry a reusable water bottle during your training, and keep a list of County hydration stations that may be situated along your running path.
- Watch out for rough terrain - And speaking of paths, Parks & Recreation has over 20 parks that are ideal for treks on foot, such as FishHawk Sports Complex in Lithia. But when researching parks to begin your training, be sure the terrain is "runner friendly." A sidewalk or paved bike trail is more suitable for beginners than rocky terrain.
If you're looking for a way to put those new skills to use, check out the Run Hillsborough 5K series. Each quarter a different Hillsborough County park will serve as a backdrop for a fun 5K race, complete with a race t-shirt and medal, as well as prizes for the top finishers in the male and female categories.