My 5k Goal: A Work in Progress

Remember my Under Armour What’s Beautiful goal?  Well, after making it my goal to break 21 minutes in the 5k this summer, I’ve wasted no time getting to work!  Goals certainly don’t achieve themselves. . .if they do, they aren’t very good goals, in my opinion. 🙂

As a distance runner, I’ve had to adjust my mindset in approaching this new running goal — I’m definitely feeling a little out of my comfort zone.  Usually, when I’m training for a marathon or half marathon, the majority of my running workouts are mid to long runs at a “cruising” sort of pace.

While I’m sure I could prepare myself for a pretty decent 5k following the auto-pilot approach, I know my best 5k will come with specific, deliberate workouts.  So that’s what I’ve been doing. . .I’ve been making my runs count.

Rather than focusing on tallying xx miles in a week, I make sure that each of my weekly runs serves a specific purpose.  Basically, my workouts have been falling into one of three categories:

Track:

Oh, that lovely little oval.  I don’t know why, but the track has always intimidated me.  Lacing up my shoes to go out for a run on the road seems fairly laid back, but in my mind, when you step on a track, you mean business.  Makes me anxious!  But what better way to approach a fear than to attack it head on, right?  I’ve been making it to the track to do speedwork once a week so far.  I’ve been smart to ease into my speedwork, since I tend to pick up injuries so quickly.  Over time, I may add a second track workout to the week, if my back and legs can handle it. . .we’ll see.

Short, quick runs:

My marathoner mind never thinks to go out for a quick 3 or 4 mile run, but I’ve done this a few times so far, and I sort of enjoy it!  I maintain a pace about 45 to 60 seconds per mile quicker than my longer run pace.  It’s tough, but it’s over before I know it and I can tell it’s definitely helping with my overall conditioning.  Yay for short runs!

Crosstraining:

I’ve been doing a great job with crosstraining on non-running days as I work towards my 5k goal.  I’ve just been loving strength training lately, and I don’t want my 5k goal to keep me from lifting weights, so I’m making room for both.  Between the weight training, core workouts, and other forms of cardio (e.g. swimming), I think my overall fitness will improve, which will only benefit my running shape.  I tell ya, this one little 5k goal is definitely keeping me moving!

With all of this running and crosstraining, I can’t wait to lace up these UA RC Storm running shoes!  I ordered a pair from the Under Armour website, and I’m excited about these bright beauties.  I know colorful shoes don’t make you run faster, but if they make me happy, then I think I’m bound to run faster, right? 😉  In all seriousness though, they’re really lightweight, which I think should be good for some speedy running.

I was also lucky enough to grab a few more Under Armour items while placing my order for the shoes.  I haven’t had much of a chance to wear them yet, but I’ll be sure to report back once I’ve done a little sweating in them!

Calling all 5k Races & Racers!

Since my goal is to run a fast 5k, I guess I ought to find a race (or two, or three. . .) to run!  I’ve been doing some research on local 5ks in the summer, starting in early June.  While it’d be awesome to break 21 minutes on my first try, I have a feeling it could take a while, and I’m OK with that.  This is a tough goal for me, but I know I can do it if I keep at it. . .or, if I find a really good flat/downhill course! 😉

If you’re a seasoned 5k’er and have any tips for me, I’d love to hear from you!  Send me an email: littlebittybakes [at] gmail [dot] com 🙂

There’s still time for you to sign up for the What’s Beautiful challenge at Under Armour and win some great prizes.

Also, Under Armour is giving away a $500 gift card! To be entered for a chance to win, answer the question: How do you empower your workouts?

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