How to push your body to its limits and conquer a 5K

Sam Wagner, J1 intern

You are sitting at home watching TV and flipping through channels, and you see people running a 5k. They seem tired and winded, and you wonder how anyone could do something like that. You ask yourself “Could I do something like that?” and quickly disregard it, thinking you never could. This article will show you how to successfully run a 5k. 

Physical strength 

One of the most important things you can do to prepare yourself to run a 5k is practice. You need to practice running at different lengths and intervals. Strength, speed, and cadence are all very important things to practice. If you neglect one for too long it will suffer. Practicing is one of the most important things you can do to prepare yourself to run long distances. “I target certain things during each practice, I run hills for strength and endurance, I do long distance runs to work on cadence and endurance, and I do core workouts for strength,” former East runner Cosmas Nyaika said.

 “I enjoy running because it feels very satisfying to know you ran all this distance and to see how far from the starting point you ran, the whole sport of running is very satisfying.

— Ryan Trujillo

Mental toughness 

Another equally important part of running long distances is mental fortitude. It can take a while to finish a long race and the entire time you may think about stopping. You need to be able to ignore these thoughts and keep running. Your mind is playing tricks on you and trying to make you think that you are not strong enough to finish. “To mentally prepare for a race I get myself into an attitude where I’m ready to run a 5k, I also try to visualize the race and listen to music,” sophomore Ryan Trujillo said. 


Another thing to focus on while practicing is endurance. You can be a great sprinter, but if you have never ran more than 800 meters in practice and never work on endurance you will not be able to run a 5k with a time to be proud of. Finish times vary from person to person. A more experienced runner will usually get times closer to 20 minutes, while newer runners usually get times closer to 30 or 35 minutes. Any time is good as long as you gave it your all. Endurance training is what separates the sprinters and the long-distance runners. “Remember the first day is always the hardest and every day it gets easier and easier,” former East runner Xander Wallace said. 

Enjoying the sport 

Running can be pointless and more difficult than it already is if you do not enjoy doing it, so the last thing you need to do is have fun. Try to enjoy running and everything that comes with. Enjoy running and be proud of yourself for finishing the race. You have accomplished something that many people could not.