The 5K fun run is the perfect way to kick-start to your summer fitness routine. It's not terribly hard to find a 5K run; it's one of the most popular athletic events in the country. By following a few basic tips, nearly anyone can complete a 5k (3.1 miles) and have fun while doing it. Even if you don't consider yourself a runner, if you start training now, ramp up slowly, and follow these ten tips, you will most likely reach the finish line with a smile on your face.
For seasoned athletes, the 5K run can get you in the mood for competition, test your post-winter fitness, boost your motivation, add variety to a stale workout.
Preparing for a 5K may be intimidating for a beginning exerciser, but if you maintain the right attitude, you may find yourself looking forward to your next event, or even a 10k.
Odds are, you won't always be in front during events or races, and you'll probably be passed more than once during competitions. The ability to come from behind in these situations is essential if you want to perform your best in all circumstances.
A striking example of "how to come from behind" is Heather Dorniden's 600m Race win. For those of us watching the video, we may assume that after her fall Heather is clearly out of contention. But without hesitation, Heather gets up and goes on to win. Clearly, anything is possible.
Learning how to come from behind takes practice, but a few sports psychology techniques can make this process much easier.
Read More: How to Come From Behind
Athletes who have both speed (how fast you are at max sprint) and acceleration (how quickly you can reach that max speed), have obvious advantages on the field. Being able accelerate quickly is a great skill to develop if you play a sport the requires quick starts, repeated starts and stops, or pivots. Most court and field sport athletes can benefit from practicing targeted drill to focus on sprinting, speed drills and power training during training.
These drills alone can only provide modest gains in acceleration. One training technique the pros use to improve acceleration is sprinting with a weight sled. This drill helps build functional acceleration for sports. To get the most from a sled drill, the athletes need to maintain excellent sprint mechanics while pulling the sled. Learn To Do It Right: Weighted Sled Sprint Drills
Listening to music while working out can have a dramatic impact on your effort, your energy, and your attitude. At least that is what we tend to believe. When asked why they listen to music during warm ups and training, one group of elite Swedish athletes said that listening to music helps them get 'psyched.' That's my interpretation, of course. The researchers actually reported that the athletes most common motives for listening to music were to increase pre-event activation, positive affect, motivation, performance levels and to experience flow. The athletes also reported positive emotions associated with listening to music while working out, and purposeful use their music selections to facilitate their training and performance.
Over and over again, motivational music has been shown to augment exercise performance. But, if you are like most exercisers with an iPod, you don't need a study to tell you that. If you've ever forgotten your iPod at the gym, you know what I mean. The wrong music, or no music, can ruin a workout. The right music can help us exercise longer, harder and with less perceived discomfort.
But the key may be that you select music that is motivational to you.
It's often a matter of finding the right song for a specific workout. When I'm exercising, nothing will get me to do one last interval or spin just a little bit faster than listening to the perfect workout song. How about you? What gets you motivated to move?
- What's Your Favorite Gym Workout Song?
- What's Your Favorite Running Workout Song?
- Music Improves Exercise Motivation
If you've been sidelined because of an injury you've probably felt everything from denial to anger and even depression. And although your feelings are real, it's important to find positive strategies to cope with this setback.
Share your best Tips for Dealing With a Sports Injury
Some of the proven ways to deal with injuries include getting support and staying positive. Athletes who accept an injury and seek ways to stay involved with their sport, their coaches and their teammates while recovering from an injury often become more focused, flexible, and resilient athletes. Here are a few additional suggestions for using sports psychology to cope with an injury.
What strategies have worked for you? Share a Tip
The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the human body. Any swelling, inflammation, tearing, or bony changes around the four tendons of the shoulder can cause pain when you move the arm above the head, behind the back, or straight out in front.
The most common cause of shoulder pain is due to rotator cuff tendinitis. This occurs when rotator cuff tendons and the bursa that surrounds them becomes inflamed and compressed between between the top of the humerus and the acromion (tip of the shoulder blade). When there is an injury to these tissues or the joint spaces the tendons no longer slide effortlessly within this narrow space, which is often referred to as impingement.
Conservative treatment is the first course of action for shoulder impingement syndrome and most patients can relive their should pain within a short time.
There are other common causes of shoulder pain that also respond to home treatment, but if your shoulder pain doesn't resolve with basic soft tissue first aid treatment, a visit to the doctor for a thorough evaluation is the next step.
Getting back into outdoor running this Spring has been a great reminder the amazing physiological changes the occur in the body when we start exercising.
After a winter of gym workouts and treadmill running, the increased effort of running on pavement (see: Treadmill vs. Outside Running) has sometimes left me feeling out of breath in the first five minutes. And then suddenly, and often surprisingly, after about ten minutes, I find my rhythm and I feel pretty darn good. It's not magic, but it is a physiological marvel.
If you get discouraged by the heavy legs, and labored breathing in the first few minutes of your workout, learning what's happening in your body during this transition to exercise may help you become a bit more patient, and a bit more motivated to keep going.
Are you making some common workout mistakes that are undermining your results? To get the benefit of the time you spend training, it helps to know not only what to do, but what not to do. Some of the most common mistakes can quickly lead to frustration and an end to a unsuccessful exercise routine.
Before you give up on exercise altogether, check out these common mistakes and avoid becoming another exercise drop out.
Getting injured can cause more than physical pain. Emotional stress is a real part of any injury, and can be extremely difficult for an athlete. Understanding the ways you can manage stress and help your body heal can provide a constructive way to cope with your injury.
The most important part of mental recovery is to stay actively involved in your rehab program, listen to your body and find alternate ways to keep active. Dealing with an injury takes time, patience and creativity. It's not easy to stay positive when your routine is disrupted, but it's essential to avoid negative self-talk. It is a perfect time to practice positive self-talk, and visualization.
When recovering from injuries, try to incorporate the following strategies:
- Strategies for coping with sports injuries
- Using the Mind to Heal the Body
- How to Use Imagery - Step-by-Step Guide
- Maintain Your Fitness While Injured
Stretching and flexibility go hand in hand with sports for a variety of reasons. Stretching not only feels good, but it helps an athlete maintain an appropriate and balanced range of motion in specific joints. This is important if you play a certain sport over and over, or when you are recovering from an injury.
Stretching Exercises By Sport
Here are some basic stretching routines for athletes who play a specific sport.
- Best Stretches for Cycling
- Best Stretches for Golfers
- Best Stretches for Runners
- Best Stretches for Snowboarding
- Best Stretches for Soccer
Injury-Specific Stretching Routines
Here are some sample stretching routines for athletes who have specific injuries.
- IT (Iliotibial) Band Pain Stretching Routine
- Back Pain Stretching Routine
- Calf Pull Stretching Routine