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How to Get 5K Ready (As a Beginner On a Budget)

Written by Sheila Olson of |

Training for a 5K can feel daunting. But it doesn’t have to cost you a ton of money or a lot of stress. There are cost-saving hacks for every aspect. Here’s how to get ready for your 5K as a beginner on a budget.

Don’t Pay for a Gym (Or Training)

You might think that as a beginner, you need pro advice to become successful at running. And when training for a 5K event, you may feel even more intimidated. But the truth is, you don’t need a trainer—or even a gym membership—to get ready for your run. Especially if you’re on a budget, spending a bunch (an average of $155 per month like most Americans) on a gym membership is a waste.

Instead, crowdsource support from friends, family, or colleagues who run. If you don’t know anyone who runs, join a runners’ group—there’s a level for everyone from the novice to a pro. You can get pointers from more experienced athletes, have company on challenging runs, and learn tips for 5K success.

Use Rakuten Coupons to Find Deals on Gear

Choosing the right gear from all the available options is crucial for keeping you comfortable, safe, and healthy. Getting the right shoes, weather-appropriate clothing, and accessories is also paramount to your enjoyment of the sport.

Unfortunately, price tags can be intimidating when it comes to brand-new equipment. Thankfully, there are ways to save. Many online coupons like those offered by Rakuen provide high discounts and even cash back on purchases. Before you start shopping, check out these deals from Rakuten first.

Get Started the Right Way

When it comes to running, most people feel like it’s an intuitive sport. But when you’re preparing for a competition, there are additional steps you should follow for getting your body and mind in shape. Here are the top five safety tips for starting to run without hurting yourself. --The best part is, these tips don’t cost a thing!

Warm Up and Cool Down

However long you plan to run, always warm up first. Stretch out your muscles pre-run and spend a few minutes getting your body warm before you hit the road. Use cool-down stretches to decrease soreness and eliminate waste from your body—for free.

Follow Safety Steps

If you are running alone, follow safety guidelines to make sure you are visible to drivers, cyclists, and anyone else on the road. Wherever you run, keep your ID on you in case of an accident. Consider high-visibility gear, not only late at night but also dusk and dawn.

Increase Incrementally

When you start running, you may only be able to handle a few minutes of jogging before you become out of breath. But starting in small increments is not only safest for your body, but it's also an excellent way to build up your stamina. Over time, you can add a few minutes to your jog, and before you know it, you’ll be halfway to completing that 5K.

Stay Hydrated

Hydration is crucial for performance and health, no matter how long you run. Your body needs both water and electrolytes to replenish itself after intense physical activity. The good news is, DIY sports drink recipes can help you replenish electrolytes without costing you a pretty penny.

As for H20, the experts at REI recommend drinking water a few hours before your run (17 to 20 ounces) and also maintaining during your run. They note five to 10 ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes is ideal. Afterward, you’ll need to restore moisture for recovery; 16-24 ounces for post-recovery hydration.

Maintain Proper Form

Proper running form involves a relaxed yet upright posture. You should avoid swinging your arms or flopping them from the elbow down. Keep your hands loosely in at your waist and try to avoid bouncing, which wastes energy.

So you see, even if you’re a complete newbie to running, it doesn’t have to cost you much to get race-ready. And with the right approach and proper training, you’ll be well on your way. And that’s good news because once you complete your first 5K, you won’t want to stop competing!

Photo via Pixabay

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