I love 5k’s. They tend to be less serious than half marathons or marathons. Have you ever seen that meme that says “My biggest fear is marrying into a family that runs 5ks on a holiday.” Whoever created it is a genius because that’s hilarious.
The Turkey Trot in my town that I ran this past year was so fun! The energy in the air was so light and everybody was in a good mood.
You can however, always tell the super serious folks too, and I know you know who I mean. For instance, this past year, It was literally 29 degrees on the morning of the Thanksgiving 5k and I’m about to freeze.
While I’m freezing, some dude strolls past in shorts, no sleeved shirt, and just little arm wraps on his fore arms like it’s a balmy 72 degrees outside. I’m like dude, no. Just get up there with the 18 minute finishers and leave us fun folks back here.
Anyhow, there were some people dressed up as turkeys, etc. It was a lot of fun doing a race for the United Way.
So! That said, let’s talk about how to prepare for your Turkey Trot this year.
Preparing for a Turkey Trot Tip #1 – Allow Yourself Time to Prepare
Whether your goal of the 5k is speed or just to have fun, preparing for your 5k is a must! Even seasoned runners need to prepare for races no matter the distance.
When we are in the midst of a race, we get excited, our adrenalin pumps heavily through our veins and we tend to push ourselves harder than we would during training.
Because of this, if your body isn’t prepared for that, you can set yourself up for injury. I’m pretty sure that injury is the last thing that you want to happen especially with it being a holiday!
Typical preparation for a 5k is 6-8 weeks if you’re not currently running. If you ARE currently running, you could probably prepare in about 4 weeks.
That said, take an honest assessment of yourself and decide when is the best time according to your body and go for it.
If you’re unsure, stay on the safe side and take longer time to prepare than less time.
Preparing for a Turkey Trot Tip #2 – Set a Goal OTHER than Pace
What’d she say?
I challenge you to set a goal other than pace. Why? Well, because sometimes it’s good for you to calm down a minute and enjoy a good race with 1,000 of your closest friends.
So, what kind of goal? Well, let’s think here. Why do you enjoy running? Do you only enjoy running so that you can go fast? Of course not. We enjoy running because we’re weird, right? ?
Here’s some examples of goals to set other than speed:
- I want to run 2 of the 3.1 miles without having to walk
- I want to make 2 new running friends
- I want to make my own outfit for the race
Those are just a few examples, there’s many others that you can do!
Preparing for a Turkey Trot Tip #3 – Grab a Buddy
A 5k is completely different than a half marathon. So, those friends that may not want to do a half marathon might be up for a 5k!
For instance, my hubs has run half marathons with me, but he isn’t a big fan of them like I am. He prefers the shorter distance runs so a 5k is something that we can do together.
Make it a date with your hubby! Or grab your best friend who may like to workout but hates to run. The two of you make a goal that together you’re going to support a good cause and run a Turkey Trot this year.
Preparing for a Turkey Trot Tip #4 – Grab a Training Plan
While you might be thinking that this is where I am going to try to sell you something, it’s really not. I promise.
In fact, I’m giving you a training plan for Free when you subscribe to my weekly motivational newsletter. Why? Because you can trust the training plan since I am a certified running coach.
It’s a really straightforward and easy to follow 6 week running plan for a 5k.
Whether your Turkey Trot is the morning of Thanksgiving or the day before Thanksgiving, the point is this: have fun during your race and your race day training.
This is meant to be a fun race. We’re not qualifying for Boston or anything here; this isn’t serious! This is FUN. So don’t stress. Grab the hubs or your girlfriend and hit the road!
Fall is the perfect time to train for a race. It’s cooler without being so cold you have to layer up to be able to workout outside. The leaves are turning and it really is a great time of year.
One final tip and this one is just for funzies. Find a running and cycling trail nearby and do your runs there! Mix up your routes and be safe while doing it.
Happy Fall and Enjoy your Turkey Trot!