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3K and 5K runs are a fun way to get exercise, support weight-loss, and encourage a healthy lifestyle.  Running a race works for both lone wolf exercisers and those who like the social aspect of running with a group.  It is also a great way to apply goal setting and charting progress.  

Pick Your First Race: Ask family, friends, or coworkers if they have any particular local race favorites for a beginner.  Before selecting a race, you want to be sure that you have enough time to prepare.  If you do not already run on a regular basis, you want to consider picking a race that is at least 4 to 6 months away.  Consider the crowd that those races draw and if it is family-friendly.  Some races are costly, so be sure to keep your budget in mind, too.

Set Aside Time to Run: A huge part of preparing for a race is getting your body prepared to run such a long distance.  In order to prepare, you will have to set aside time to run.  You want to begin walking and progressively include running into your walking routine until your walking routine becomes your running routine.  Be sure to set aside at least 45 minutes, 4 times a week.  Scheduling this time to run will help you stay on track as well as aid in weight-loss.

Consider Joining a Running Group: Joining a running group may help keep you on track, but it can also be difficult to meet with a running group consistently.  It is a lot easier to plan your running schedule when you do not have schedule constraints.  The upside to joining a running group is that they will keep you accountable and give you a pretty strong support group if you ever feel like giving up.

Use Your Resources: Aside from picking the brains of friends, family, and coworkers, check out running pages on Facebook, blogs, and running magazines.  If you have a friend or a group of friends that have ran a race, they are one of your best resources and will be able to give you a lot of insight on how to prepare for your first race.  You may also find helpful information on the web page of the race you plan to run.  Many race websites will have a helpful question and answer section.


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