Strive to compete in a 5k | Health and Fitness

In our first article we encouraged developing a habit of 20 to 30 minutes of physical activity three times per week. In our second article we encouraged granting yourself permission to continue exercising even when your schedule is maxed out. This month we invite you to target a 5k event.

A 5k is equivalent to 3.1 miles or 13 laps around the high school track. It is a good distance to train for since it requires weekly dedication without demanding a fanatical fitness regiment that competes for time with family and career.

There are many factors to consider when selecting a 5k event. You might think about the travel distance from home, the course topography, the time of year, the number of weeks you have to train, if the event is a fundraiser for a cause you support, the commemorative T-shirt, and if there is food at the finish line. A 5k to consider is part of the Enumclaw Street Fair on July 21. It is close to home, the course is flat, it should be warm and dry, it supports the Rotary, the shirt is cool and the street fair has lots of food options. Better yet, it is 13 weeks away which allows enough time to train properly.

So, how do you get started? If you want to walk the 5k, but haven’t done much walking in the past, the key is to start slowly and gradually add time. If you start training now, and add five to seven minutes to your walks every two weeks, you would be up to a 45- to 60-minute walk by July 21.

The average person will walk a 5k in 45 to 60 minutes.

If you want to run a 5k and you are new to running, we recommend a gradual approach. You can alternate between running and walking to gradually build your speed and endurance, while also increasing your distance. Try running/walking for one mile and then walk another mile. The next week try running/walking 1.5 miles. Keep at it every week until you are up to three miles. If your goal is to run the entire event, gradually eliminate your walk breaks until you are running continuously for three miles.

Please contact us if you would like a specific training plan.

A 5k is a fun way to connect with your community and others who enjoy healthy fun. It can be a great way for a family to be active together. The first step is to get moving.

We know you can do it!

Best wishes for your continued success.

Stephanie Norton-Bredl is the health and wellbeing director at the Auburn Valley YMCA and may be contacted at Bruce deJong is a group exercise instructor at the Auburn Valley YMCA and may be contacted at


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