Train for a 5K in Santee

Tips for getting in shape and preparing to run a 5k.

Training for a 5K is a great way to boost your cardiovascular health, reduce stress or simply add more running to your routine.

Santee is the perfect place to get in on the action, with a handful of organized 5k and further runs and walks as well as .

The next local upcoming run is the . Previous runs that will likely be repeated this year include the , ,  and of course, the .

There are also a few spots around town where you can easily measure a 5K run, including the tracks at and , Santee Lakes, , and there's even a 5K loop from the Santee Library.

Check out these photos galleries of local 5k runs and share any photos you have of local races:

Tips for running a5K:

A 5K, or 3.1 miles, is perfect for beginners, but it does take some training to gain the endurance to go the distance. Raina Hafer, NCSF, certified personal trainer and running specialist, shares her shape-up tips for success that will have you crossing the finish line in no time!

Commit to a Race. If your goal is to run in a 5K, don't just train to go the distance. Sign up for an actual race. Loads of local charities and organizations host 5K races in the area, so there no excuses to skip out. Be sure your race date allows you ample time to prepare. New runners typically need between 8-10 weeks to train, while those who are already active may only need 6.

Click here to find a race nearby and choose one that is the right fit for you.

It’s also smart to tell friends and family about your upcoming race, says Hafer. “By doing so, you're less likely to drop out of the race and will also get a ton of motivational support to propel you across the finish line,” she says.

Find a Group. Connecting with others to prepare for a race can make training less overwhelming, and can help you stick to your training schedule. You won’t want to let your running buddies down by skipping a workout. Look for a running group that meets at the local YMCA or check out CoolRunning.com to find listings of other local groups.

Follow a schedule. Once you've signed up for a race, you'll need to create a training schedule. There are tons of resources to help you get started, from books and magazine to websites and interactive apps. Hafer personally loves the Couch to 5K app, which is great for beginners and super user friendly. Plus, at only 30 minutes, three times per week, it’s the perfect program for even the most time-strapped runner.

In addition to scheduled runs, more advanced runners should cross train twice a week. Hafer suggests cycling, yoga or strength training, activities which increase muscle strength and flexibility and ultimately help you become a stronger runner.

Work on Endurance. Building up the stamina to run a 5K is something that takes time. When you begin training don’t be afraid to alternate between running and walking, says Hafer. Run at a speed where you can comfortably hold a conversation until you become too tired to continue and then begin walking. Once you’ve caught your breath, return to running. Over time, you will be able to walk less and run more, until you can eventually run the entire distance.

Enjoy Race Day! On race day be sure to arrive at least 30 minutes before the actual start time to register and warm up. Most importantly though, have fun running the race! You’ve worked hard to get there, so enjoy completing such a great accomplishment.

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