Training for a Race Advice from a Personal Trainer in CT

According to our Top Personal Trainer CT, we can get you started on the right path.

By CT Certified Personal Trainer Katie F.!

Some of you may be thinking about training for your first 5k but are having some questions about where to begin and what your training program should look like.


When taking up running for the first time, or getting back to it after not doing it for a while, it is important to start back slowly.

Our top personal trainer from CT says,

“Pushing yourself too quickly can result in injuries that can sometimes take months to heal.”

She tells us a personal story that took place back in the summer of 2013:


“I had been a competitive runner at that point for over ten years and decided during my summer break from college that I wanted to enter in my first-ever half marathon,” say our top Personal Trainer in CT.

She continues, “I was super excited and ready to work hard. During my first few weeks I thought, since I was in such good running shape already, that it wouldn’t matter how fast I upped my mileage; I was very wrong.


“I was running twice a day, usually between 6-14 miles total for the day. Coming from someone who typically would run between 3-7 miles, this was a very large jump.”

“By week 3 of my training,” says our top personal trainer in CT,  “I had shin splits so badly, but I kept pushing. By week four,  I had a stress fracture in my shin and was put in a walking boot for 3 months. I ended up missing my entire senior year cross country season.”

She goes on to tell us, “Even for seasoned athletes, it is important to follow a good program and listen to your body when you are starting something new. With this being said there are very easy ways that problems like this can be avoided.”

She advises, “If you are looking to run that first 5k, make sure you have a good pair of running shoes, and I highly recommend using the app from couch to 5k. It is a nine-week beginners’ running program that has you slowly build up. The app is designed for nine weeks but if you are totally new to the sport, I recommend you start using it 12 weeks before your race. The app has you run thirty minutes just three times a week, allowing your body time to rest.”

Our personal trainer in CT says, “Couch to 5k will have you start by running 30 seconds with a one to two minute walk in between to allow time to catch your breath. During the next few weeks you will increase from running 30 seconds to running 45 seconds to running for a minute. The program is designed to slowly phase out the walking until you are able to run three miles. The key to having this program work for you is to make sure you are consistent with it. If you are skipping the runs, it will not work for you and you will not be prepared when the race rolls around. When it comes to training for your first 5k, it takes time but if you follow your program and you reach that finish line, it is one of the most rewarding feelings you can have.”


Our personal trainer CT said she gets asked all the time, “What kind of strength training, if any, should I be doing during my training program for running?”

She tells her clients that, yes, they should be continuing a strength training routine or beginning one.

“Strength training two to three times a week for at least 30 minutes will help you to build that strong foundation and help to decrease your risk of injury. You will want to build your core and upper body strength to help improve your form, and, of course, you want to improve your leg strength as well.”


She tell us that strength training will make one’s form more efficient, and it also helps with recovering quicker after runs.


When starting a strength program along with your new running program you want to make sure that you are working the following muscles: (lower body) quadriceps, hamstrings, hips, calves (upper body) shoulders, your upper and lower back, chest, biceps and triceps. In addition, you also want to strengthen your core which plays a big part in keeping your body from compromising your form when it starts to get tired. A great exercise to do would be planks which strengthen a variety of muscles and really target the core.


Beginning training for that first 5k can be scary but can be one of the most rewarding experiences. Our personal trainer in CT has run thousands of 5k’s over the course of her 15 year running career, and still gets that overwhelming sense of pride and joy each time she crosses the finish line.

So lace up those running shoes, and start training today! You won’t regret it!

Katie is a leading success coach and personal trainer at Horizon Personal Training in CT and is NASM Certified! To learn more about Katie and our other trainers here at Horizon, please go to