June is a month filled with outdoor exercising opportunities. From biking to running to walking, there is no shortage of races, walks and charity events to get involved with to make fitness meaningful. If you have been considering doing a 5K, but have hesitated for one reason or another, consider some of the things a 5K can teach you.
Lessons from a 5K
1. Metric Measurement
This may seem like a tongue-in-cheek lesson, but many adults still are unaware of what kilometers converts to in miles. In fact, it is probably fair to say that many first time 5K participants actually look up the conversion before signing up. The lesson that 5-kilometers translates into 3.102 miles is a great lesson to learn. It is also one that can translate into other areas of your life.
2. Why Training is Important
Even if you have never run before, it is possible to complete a 5K. Always consult your doctor before beginning any exercise regimen, especially one that has never before been attempted. Although you can go it alone and try to create your own plan to get up to speed, there are numerous plans available online and in books and magazines. If you have found one that you think looks like it would work for you, take it along with you to your doctor’s appointment to get his opinion on whether or not it is appropriate for you. Some of the programs, like The Couch-to-5K Running Plan, are specifically designed for those who have never run before, or who haven’t tried it in some time. You will find that training will help your body build muscle and endurance, so that a 3 mile run is an easy feat.
Whenever you attempt something new and complete it successfully, you gain self-confidence. When getting ready to run a 5K, it may be the fact that you laced up your sneakers for the first time and stepped out the door that brings you that sense of self-confidence. A 5K definitely challenges those who may have never run in such an event before, but the amount of confidence that is built is overwhelming. Suddenly, there are no confines to your physical abilities. You feel stronger and more in-tune with your body which leads to a feeling that only confidence can provide.
4. How to Fundraise for a Cause
Most 5Ks are associated with charity events. For one reason or another, charities have discovered that when they host a run or walk, that people will sign-up and raise money for the charity. If you are doing a 5K to help raise funds for a cause you care about, you will learn a great deal about effective charity fund raising. In addition to the great resources that most charities will provide you with to jump start your fund raising, you will also begin to think of clever ways to get to your fund raising goal. Combined with your newly increased self-confidence, it will be fairly easy for you to ask people to donate. Knowing that you are helping yourself achieve a goal while helping a charity raise money is priceless.
What would a goal, seen through to completion, be without a sense of accomplishment felt at the end? As a new 5K runner or walker, you will feel enormous pride at your accomplishment. That sense of accomplishment will be apparent when you can proudly say that you have accomplished your goal. It is a matter of mind over body that results in the successful completion of something that you may, at this very moment, think you cannot do.
So, what are you waiting for? Dust off the running shoes, call your doctor for a check-up, and start your training. If you are unsure what 5Ks are in your area, check out Active.com’s listing of events in your state. Then leave a comment below letting us know where you’ll be running or walking. We can’t wait to celebrate your achievements in the upcoming months!