The JogBlog Guide To Training For Your First 5k

A friend on Twitter recently challenged himself to train for his first 5k in just 14 days. On top of this, he further challenged himself to run it in under 30 minutes. And guess what? He did it! Hardcore.

However, us mere mortals tend to take more than 14 days to train for our first 5k, so here’s my guide for new runners.

Get a training plan

In the olden days, before smartphones (yes kids there was such a time), we couldn’t download apps like the Kiqplan coaching app and had to make do with plans in books or printed off from the internet. I can’t remember where I got my first training plan from but it was one of those Couch to 5k plans that starts off with run/walk and progresses to 5k at the end of the plan. These plans usually last for 8 weeks or so but it took me twice as long to get through mine, so if you have to redo a week, don’t worry about it. Everyone progresses at different speeds.

If you want a laugh, go to the beginning of my blog and you can read all about my early running days back in January 2006, including endearing little snippets such as:

It was the first of the 3 minutes running / 1 minute walking (repeated 6 times) schedule today and doing 3 minutes non-stop was surprisingly easy, seeing as when I first attempted to run a few weeks ago, a minute nearly killed me.

As you can see, we all started somewhere.

Get comfortable kit

There’s no need to go out and buy the most expensive kit, especially if you’ve just started running as who knows if you’re going to continue with it? I would advise not doing what I did when I started running though and buy something more comfortable than thick, heavy tracksuit bottoms, a normal cotton t-shirt, two normal bras worn at the same time, a thick, heavy, hooded fleece, and a stiff pair of trainers that cost £10 from Shoezone. You can get perfectly decent kit at bargain prices from Sports Direct although you should probably go to a specialist running shop and get them to advise you on the right running shoes for you. Be warned though – proper running shoes aren’t cheap, although Decathlon‘s own make, Kalenji, are reasonably priced and I was very happy with the ones I had a couple of years ago.

Get gadgets

Running is more fun when you know you’re going to get home and see pretty charts and graphs and stats and stuff. There are millions of fitness apps to download and try and you can even run away from Zombies if Zombies are your thing, or you can just be old school and get a good old Garmin like my Garmin Forerunner 405 (other GPS watches are available, such as the Tom Tom Runner also pictured below).

Garmin and Tom Tom Runner

Or you can be even more old school like I was in the early days and just use a stopwatch and pedometer. Or you can be really really really old school and not use anything. That would be weird though.

The other gadget I don’t run without is my iPod. Lots of people don’t listen to music when they run but maybe they sound more elegant than I do when I’m running.

Get a race booked

You could do a parkrun, but it might be more rewarding to do a ‘proper’ race and get a medal at the end for all your hard work.

5k medal

Will run for bling

You will be nervous and you will be scared but, trust me, you’re going to fucking love it and you’ll cross that finish line with a massive grin. My first race was the Crisis Square Mile Run and I still smile when I remember how I felt when I’d finished.

Get clued up on nutrition

I’m joking. It’s 5k; eat what you want.

So, that’s my tips for new runners. Enjoy your first 5k!

Daisy Print Running Tights? Oh Yes!

On the way to the pub after the Ashford & District 10k a couple of weeks ago, Helen and I stopped to look in the window of Sports Direct (don’t ask me why this was more important than the pub. We must have been feeling athletic after our race or something) and I saw a jacket I had been eyeing up a few months ago had been reduced in price so we went in to have a look.

The jacket wasn’t the same jacket I thought it was but look what I found instead.

USA Pro daisy print running tights

Don’t cha wish your running tights were hot like these?

DAISY PRINT TIGHTS, BABY!!!! They were £17.99, which is more than I’d usually want to pay in Sports Direct, but… you know… daisies…

Flower print running tights

Stop looking at the mess behind me. Nosy.

I went for a run in them today and they’re thick and comfy but they don’t have a drawstring and they do slip down a bit, although not as much as some tights I’ve worn in the past so they’re okay to run in but may be better suited to the gym.

You can buy similar ones in Tesco for £14, although they’re a lot thinner. I was tempted to buy some when I saw them the other day but I’d already bought my SD ones but yesterday when I went into Tesco, I bought some fab bright pink and black ones which I’ll model for you another time.

I bought my daisy print tights in-store at Sports Direct, but here’s the link if you want to buy some online.

Isn’t great that we can get tights more interesting than plain black now?


Scraping the barrel

laundryYou know it’s Juneathon when your laundry increases and most of it appears to be gym wear. That and scraping the bottom of the kit drawer for something to wear. Which, in this morning’s case was a lime green Royal Parks Half t-shirt that’s now unflatteringly small and a pair of cheapy tights from Sports Direct that I won’t wear out in public as they’re so thin and, unlike Madonna when she’s poncing around in skin-tight leotards, I like to spare the public from any camel toe there may be.

So, keeping this sartorial dilemma in mind, today’s activity was body pump in the privacy of my own conservatory. (Actually, that’s what I had planned to do anyway, I just wanted to type ‘sartorial dilemma’. Even if there wasn’t actually a dilemma.)

Body pump: 45 minutes
Loads of laundry washed yesterday: 2
Percentage of it being gym kit: about 75
Unflatteringly small lime green Royal Parks Half t-shirts: 1
Pairs of thin cheapy tights from Sports Direct: 1

I’ve got a new hoody and well nice it is too

As I feel a bit of a dick sometimes, riding my bike with my parka on when it’s not quite parka weather (although, seeing as it doesn’t take much for me to get cold, that’s only about two days a year), I bought a lightweight outdoorsy type jacket from Sports Direct. I liked it in the shop but when I went to wear it a few days later, decided I hated it and it was far too anoraky for me.

So, when Go Outdoors emailed me and said would I like to choose something from their website, I thought yay, I can get a new fleece or something instead of my minging anoraky thing.

My first choice wasn’t available for home delivery but then I saw a black softshell hoody with a pink zip.


Pretty hoody.

This turned up a couple of days after ordering it and today – as it certainly wasn’t parka weather – wore my new hoody on my cycle up to the gym for my spin class.

I am well pleased with my hoody. It’s beautifully light, fits well, looks cool and is comfy. My only criticism of it is that the arms are slightly too short for me – they don’t quite reach my wrists. Apart from that though, I think I’m going to be wearing this hoody a lot when I’m out on my bike.