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A 5K Training Guide for the Uncoordinated

I am not an athlete. Flat surfaces send me flailing to the ground. I injure myself changing the television channel. As an author, when I write about people attempting athletic things they usually end up hurting themselves because this is my only frame of reference.
My only attempts at entering the confusing and mystical world of sports included a season spent doing on-field pirouettes during eight weeks of soccer games and breaking a badminton racquet on the head of my doubles partner.

So, when I heard about a 5K being held in my area a few months down the road, I had a brilliant idea: I, Captain Complete-Lack-of-Basic-Coordination, should sign up! Genius!

Three weeks into my training, I've learned a few things. These nuggets of wisdom are too valuable to keep to myself. Whether you're trying to prepare for a foot race or for the race of life, listen up. Learn from someone who's in the trenches and can't seem to get her burning, jelly-like legs to carry her out.
  • “Jogging” and “Running” are essentially the same thing, except that “Jogging” is more laid-back and, therefore, cooler.
  • If you load up your mp3 player with songs whose tempos hover right around that of “Endless Love,” you're more likely to set a pace for yourself that is entirely doable.
  • Running routes that pass right by an exceptionally yummy ice cream shop are the best kind.
  • A 5-hour finishing time is entirely respectable. Marathoners clock in around there all the time.
The most important lesson of all:
  • Just trying is reason enough to be proud.


Sarah M Eden is a mom, a taxi and an author of historical romance novels, which her daughter describes as “Kissy, romantic books where the people lived a long time ago and talked funny.” When not writing, Sarah sometimes sleeps, occasionally cooks dinner for her family and very rarely cleans her house. Visit her at

Photo by A. A. on flickr

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