Speedy Running Strategies & Summer Running Goals

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on June 15, 2011


Back in the day, I used to be into all that crazy track and field stuff. High jump, shot put, long jump, relay, and sprints. Short distance sprints were always my favourite event. I loved the intense, breathless pace and the thrill of not knowing who would cross the finish line first. Sometimes I won, sometimes I got left in the dust. It was always anyone’s race! I still remember the nerves I felt before the gun went off. I had to be so careful not to go too soon and have a false start!

I know, it’s a bit strange to enjoy breathless agony. But the breathless agony leads to this high euphoric feeling when it’s over.

Another example of two extremes is hot yoga. I get hot and sweaty during class but then feel cool as a cucumber (mentally and physically) after class. This contrast of feeling, intensity, and mood is what really makes me fall in love with a certain activity over another.

Over the past month, I’ve been running 3-4 mile distances about 2-3 times per week. While I do enjoy long distance races like half-marathons, I have to admit that they take a toll on my body! I’m injury prone and when I get up to the 10, 11, 12, and 13 mile training runs, I often have to deal with pesky aches and pains. After my three half marathons, I had to take 1-3 weeks off running to recover. Not ideal. I go stir crazy when I can’t move my body. Of course, that isn’t to say that you can’t get injured training for or running a 5k- you certainly can- but, I think it’s cool to switch it up.

I’ve run 7 races (including one triathlon) since I started racing in June 2009 (read about my running journey here), but I still haven’t run a 5k race! I decided to do something about that. :)

5ks also require less time to train, which is good for me this summer as I’m working on a couple new writing projects and spending a lot of time working on our yard and gardens.

Yesterday, I ran 3 miles and pretended like I was running a race. I set a goal of running 3 miles in 24 minutes. I totally didn’t think I could do it. I had to really boot it hard, especially in the last couple minutes.

When I finished, I realized I hadn’t even lost my breath or broke a sweat.



Here are the strategies I use for running speedy short distances:

1. Set challenging, but realistic goals: Before starting your run, set a time and distance goal. I base my goals on previous runs for the most accurate prediction. I recently ran 3 miles in 25 minutes, so I thought 24 minutes would be a tough challenge!

2. Bring a stop watch. if you don’t have a Garmin or other distance tracking watch, you can figure out where your mile splits are along your route and then time each mile with a basic stop watch.

3. Set mile split goals if you wish. For each of the 3 miles, I set a time goal for each. If my overall average goal pace is an 8 min/mile and my first mile was 8:34, I know that I need to step up the pace in my second mile. I might set a goal for the second mile to be 7:45 pace to make up for lost time. I’m not very specific, but it keeps me on target.

4. Don’t underestimate hydration needs. I often catch myself thinking that I don’t need to hydrate properly for shorter runs, but this is a mistake! The body needs water every 10-15 minutes, especially in hot weather. I made this mistake today by not bringing my Camelbak and my throat was dry the entire run. Not cool!

5. Boot it: Expect to haul majah booty during the last few minutes! No matter how fast I try to run during the first 90% of the run, I always have to make up for lost time during the last few minutes. And anyways, it’s fun to sprint hard the last bit! I often have negative splits when running short distances with tough goals…it literally forces you to run faster at the end.

6. Blast some fast beats. Fast music = faster running. For me, anyways! Oh and I totally need a new music mix…I’m still rocking the same mix from last summer! It’s driving me INSANE.

7. Have Confidence! Believe that you can achieve your time goal. I can’t tell you how many times I catch myself saying that I cant do it. When you believe you can, you start to run with confidence and power. I strongly believe in the mind-body connection!

8. Stay Loose. I tend to tighten up and raise my shoulders and arms when I run fast. Be mindful of your body as much as you can and shake your arms out when necessary. I often do this several times during a race because I get SUPER tight during races!

9. Visualize you’re running a RACE before, during, and even crossing an imaginary finish line. This will help increase motivation and hopefully, energy. My imaginary finish line is my mailbox. Occasionally, I like to shoot my arms up in the air and cheer. It sounds a bit embarrassing when I type it out like that. Just forget that last part. I would never do such a thing.

10. Streeeeetch. I used to be horrible for stretching after runs, but now I try to stretch, even if it’s just for a minute! It really does help with recovery. When I don’t stretch after a tough run, I pay for it the next day.

11. Dump everything you can find into a blender and slam a Green Monster. Much better.


Keep in mind that everyone’s definition of a ‘speedy run’ will be different. The same is true for how you define a ‘short distance’. When I first started running, 3 miles was very, very long for me to run (still is some days!) and I could barely run a 12 minute mile. It’s important to do what is right for you at your current ability level and not get discouraged. Running isn’t easy and you should pat yourself on the back for any run that you accomplish whether it be 1/4 mile or 10 miles.

By the way, I’ve heard so many great things about the Couch to 5k program for new runners, so if you are thinking about trying out a 5k race, be sure to check it out!

I’m currently scoping out a 5k race in Oakville this weekend or a later race in June. I’m already shaking in my sneakers!

Have you ever run a 5k race before? Are you training for one now or have any tips to share?

Do you have any summer races planned?

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{ 130 comments… read them below or add one }

Mimi June 15, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Great tips! I think it’s important to mix up distances, especially when you are just getting into racing!


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat June 15, 2011 at 7:44 pm

I’ve actually been drafting a post very similar to this in my head! I agree with all your tips, especially the music one! I used to run 5Ks when I did cross country in university, and although I didn’t like the distance being so short, I did like knowing that I only had to endure it for about 20-25 mins, then it would all be finished! To get speedy, I practiced a LOT of speed intervals. At the time, I didn’t even know what a green monster was – if I had, I’m sure I would have chugged them by the gallon!


Holly @ The Runny Egg June 15, 2011 at 8:00 pm

You are super speedy! Great job on your 5k!

My goal for this year is to stick with running. Normally I run a race in June of each year (this year it is a marathon but usually it was a 1/2 marathon) and then I would get burnt out and not run the rest of the year. Then I would start training again the following Feb/Mar and have to kind of start over. I want to improve which means I want to stick with running all summer/fall/year long!


Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans June 15, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Awesome job! My goal is a sub 25 5k. Hopefully these tips will help me get there :)


Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit June 15, 2011 at 8:12 pm

These are some great recommendations, Angela! I don’t know how people run without a watch of some sort. I would be absolutely lost without knowing my pace and setting time goals for myself.
Thanks for reminding me to stretch, too. I don’t do it enough and I really, really should!


Marci June 15, 2011 at 8:16 pm

you are super speedy! agree that there is a lot of great things to come from short distance running! didn’t know you used to do different track and field things.


The Healthy Hipster June 15, 2011 at 8:22 pm

LOVE these tips! Especially number 9. I definitely need to have some sense of where I’m going if I have any hope of getting there. In running…and in life! ;)


Alex C. June 15, 2011 at 8:25 pm

As much as I love half-marathons, at long distances I am injury prone too! 5K and 10ks are a great length for me!


Lizzie June 15, 2011 at 8:38 pm

My best 5K time was 23:15 – this was after I followed a training program involving some track workouts, honestly not believing that it would make much of a difference. It really did! I am so appallingly bad at stretching. It’s so good for me and I know it, but it just doesn’t seem to be inviting to sit on the floor, even though I definitely have time to do it most evenings. Have a 10K next weekend and did a 5 miler a couple of weeks ago. I have another 10K in the Fall, but am looking for some 5K’s for the summer. Angela, you are super speedy – can’t wait to see you haul ass in the next race!! :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 15, 2011 at 9:25 pm

goodluck with your race next weekend! I enjoy 10ks too :)


Grace @ Healthy Dreaming June 15, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Great tips! I aim to run 4 miles a few times a week on top of other workouts I do. I’ve never run in a race before though and hopefully when the Florida weather cools down, I’ll be able to sign up!


Felicia (Natural + Balanced) June 15, 2011 at 8:42 pm

yay! i’m so happy for you because this is exactly what has happened to me. i was a sprinter in high school and loved speed work more than distance.. after my half marathon and running long distance instead of shorter, the pains took a toll on my body too.. i was made for speed, not distance :) less time and better results from my workouts is making me so happy, plus i need time in the garden too! :) cant wait to hear about your future races!


Callie @ Callieflower Kitchen June 15, 2011 at 8:43 pm

I like having my camelbak with me all the time, even for short runs. I’m doing my first race ever this weekend – a sprint triathlon. So nervous!


Jackie June 15, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Great tips, I’m going to try and implement some of them. I’m running my first 5k in August and am getting super excited for it.


Kathy June 15, 2011 at 8:50 pm

This summer, I plan on exercising, of course! I might think of doing some at-home yoga too, maybe on the weekends or my days off exercising. I plan on doing Nike Training Club for Women, push ups for arm strength (something I’ve been trying to regain), running, and like I said, yoga.


Megan June 15, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Loved your running tips. I ran my first 5k this March, and one thing that I always keep in mind is something that my dad told me: “If you can run two miles, you can run three, and if you can run three miles, then you can run four.” When I’m running I use it as a way to remember that half of the pain I am feeling is in my head. It’s easy to forget when you’re running that the pain isn’t only in your body, your mind is trying to psych you out too.


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 15, 2011 at 9:24 pm

I love that mantra


[email protected] June 15, 2011 at 9:15 pm

1. I just fell across your blog… and LOVE it! Seriously… a lot.

2. I don’t have any short races planned yet, but I’m running a 1/2 in the fall and am trying to get my speed up to par so I’m sure I’ll be running a 5k/10k or two throughout the next few months. I just did a marathon this past May but trained at a SUPER SLOW pace and am trying so hard to improve my time.

3. I’ve been on the edge on whether or not I should buy a Garmin watch… I think this post has just SHOVED me over the edge.

Wow, I don’t usually write lists on stranger’s blogs… but welp, there you go! Happy Running!


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 15, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Thanks Brittany! :)


Abby June 15, 2011 at 9:19 pm

I have done a couple of 5k’s. I think they are a blast but when I ran them I wasn’t too serious about it. I think it would be great to do one and go balls to the wall just to see how fast I could really do it! :) I loved the part about waving your hands around at the mailbox! Sitting here laughing out loud now!


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 15, 2011 at 9:23 pm

i swear I dont do that… ;)


Jaclyn T June 15, 2011 at 9:27 pm

I love reading about your running techniques and tricks. I used to run in the fall of 2009, but I injured my IT Band and stopped it. Last summer, after becoming addicted to your blog I decided to start to run again…slowly building up from intervals to longer distances. Your words written in an earlier post “You’re Stronger Than You Think You Are” (I may be paraphrasing) have been my mantra on many a run. I am a firm believer in listening to my body, working to challenge myself but not cause injury. So what if I walk up an insane hill rather than run it? Maybe one day I will sprint up that bad boy but for now my hips and knees thank me for listening to them. I also love the feeling after the breathless agony of running a sprint, and like to end my run giving it my all for 100 metres at the end of my run.
Music is key, I agree! I rationally know I could do a run sans ipod but I have no desire to.

Thanks for your inspiring blog!


Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga June 15, 2011 at 9:47 pm

I used to run at least three 5k’s per month for about 5 years. I have probably run 500 5k’s in my life? I stopped counting. Scott and I ran together back in the day when we had spare time on our hands and we would run soooo many races. We would do like one a weekend. It was just FUN! We didnt really “Train”. It was just another run. Yes we tried to haul booty and put up good times but if we didnt, we didnt. (races are early in the morning on Sat and Sun and Fri and Sat nights were often late + drinking involved…lol)

I love your tips.

My tip, just run. Whatever happens, happens.

And if you feel like challenging yourself, just run as fast as you possibly can for as long as you possibly can, even if that means cursing the whole way :)


Melody June 15, 2011 at 10:02 pm

I am a beginner, so I am currently doing a brisk walk workout. I use the Nike+iPod program to blend music, encouragement, and stats all in one application. My best walking mile so far is 15’38”. You may want to look into a podcast called PodRunner. The podcast has a “First Day to 5K” program. Blessings!


Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons June 15, 2011 at 10:02 pm

Thanks for the tips! I have this bookmarked! I’ve never run a race before but my husband LOVES them so I want to start!!!! <3


Mac June 15, 2011 at 10:25 pm

I have done a 5K and am currently signed up for a 10K next weekend! My biggest tip is to find someone in front of you and work to catch them… don’t sprint to catch them, because that will only wear you out, but slightly pick up your pace or continue at your pace you are currently running if it happens to be faster than theirs. Good luck finding a race!


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 16, 2011 at 6:25 am

That is a great tip! I’ve used it in some of my races (esp my 10k) and near the end of the race.


Hayley June 15, 2011 at 10:26 pm

I’m running my first 5k this weekend!


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 16, 2011 at 6:19 am



Marta June 15, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Hiya Angela!

I’ve been working on my running fitness slowly but steadily since Jan 2010 and I think I’m in love, with shorter distances especially! Working up the nerve to really “train” for a race, maybe soon :) What I have been working on is my playlist! A good thumpy beat really gets me goin. I”ve got a coupla suggestions if you’re interested. Oh and one of the teeny boppers i go to school with clued me in to the magic that is youtube to MP3 converter (google it, 2nd link) so all my dreambeats for running are now a reality.

Afrojack – Take over control
Afrojack – How I like it
Alexandra Stan – Mr Saxobeat
Deadmau5 – Sofi needs a ladder

Definitely on the dancey side but it works for me :D


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 16, 2011 at 6:24 am



Amanda Jewell @ Science&Bananas June 15, 2011 at 10:29 pm

I quit running a over a year ago (although I’ll jog maybe once every two months or something, whenever I get the urge to), but I love hiking. Just like running, hiking the same routes/distances/terrains can get boring & so it’s nice to mix it up and try different locations/terrains/distances. I think these strategies are really great and are definitely applicable to hiking too :-)


Madelein June 15, 2011 at 10:51 pm

no, unfortunately I don’t exercise at all right now….this reminds me I must start tomorrow!=)


Stephenie Zamora June 15, 2011 at 10:52 pm

I would love to run a 5k! This was a very awesome and informative post. I’m going to bookmark it because I do really want to get back into running. You’re right about it being worth the euphoric feeling. Running and the ocean and two things that give me such a cool, calm and stress free feeling. I’ll have to try out hot yoga! xo


Vanessa @ Loving the Sweet LIfe June 15, 2011 at 11:00 pm

As a newbie to the running scene, I appreciate these tips!
First thing I must do is get me a high-tech stop watch so I can track progress.
Fast music is a definite must! I dusted off my ipod for my first run and thanks to someone who had used it months ago all I had was Christmas music – not cool! I’ve since updated it and what a difference it makes :)
Do you ever hydrate with coconut water after a run?


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 16, 2011 at 6:24 am

I dont usually have coconut water on hand, but it is great for hydration.
You dont need a high tech stop watch. If you can find out your mile splits locations along the route all you need is a basic $5 stop watch to time each mile. :)


Gina @ Running to the Kitchen June 15, 2011 at 11:20 pm

good tips! I think you’ve convinced me to run the 5K this weekend that I’ve been contemplating for the past month. I PR’ed at it last year but I’m nervous I won’t do as well this year (totally unfounded nervousness) and haven’t committed to it yet.


Cristina June 15, 2011 at 11:23 pm

Angela, thank you so much for making this post. I have been in a work-out funk for a while now and have just not had the motivation to go run. But as soon as I read this I went and found my Garmin and iPod and put them on the charger for the morning. Thanks for the inspiration!


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 16, 2011 at 6:22 am

whohoo! Hope you had a great workout :)


Alaina June 15, 2011 at 11:36 pm

Great tips Angela! Thank you!

I’ve run quite a few 5ks and I just can’t seem to break the 26 minute finish time. I’ll have to just give it my all when running 3 miles around town!


Amber from Girl with the Red Hair June 15, 2011 at 11:44 pm

I’ve “raced” one 5K where I ran as hard as I could and it was really HARD. I had done 4 half-marathons, a marathon and multiple 10K’s before this 5K and I was shocked at how much the 5K took out of me. Running as fast as you can is no joke!


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 16, 2011 at 6:22 am

I hear that from soooo many people! I found the same thing with my 10k…I basically sprinted the entire time.


Amykinz (foodie4healing) June 15, 2011 at 11:46 pm

Great tips, Angela! Thanks for sharing!


MB June 15, 2011 at 11:53 pm

I haven’t run a race since junior high. I’ve been struggling with the C25K program and hope to get through week 4 as soon as my stupid knee stops complaining. Strategy # 11 is my favorite ;)


Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table June 15, 2011 at 11:55 pm

Great tips! I just ran a 5K and earned a PR of 24:47. You just inspired me to make the next one under 24! :)


Sarah T June 16, 2011 at 12:10 am

Great tips! I am using the couch to 10k program for my 10k July 9th. After that race I want to focus on a PR in a fall 5k race. After your last running post I ordered my Garmin and it should arrive tomorrow! Excited to do some shorter distances with the negative splits and push myself a bit more. Thanks for sharing.


Emily June 16, 2011 at 1:05 am

Awesome pace Angela :D I’ve never run a 5k – the only ones I can find are the Race for Life ones for Breast Cancer and as I already run for Cystic Fibrosis I don”t enter as I know I wouldnt be able to raise the sponsorship :/

For this summer/autumn I’m running a 10k and my first half marathon (Great North Run – sooooo excited!)


Angel7 June 16, 2011 at 1:10 am

I used to run track one year or so when I was in high school many years ago, but have not run since.

I did a walk-a-thon, though, for a cause, if that counts :) I would like to do some more walk-a-thons for great causes.



Julia June 16, 2011 at 1:25 am

I love your tips!
To visualize running a race has always helped me to push a little harder, too.

I have one question:
How do you warm up before you head out for a speedy run?


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 16, 2011 at 6:21 am

I usually don’t, but now that you mention it I should be warming up!


Hayley @ Oat Couture June 16, 2011 at 1:42 am

Well done on your new time! :) And thanks for the great tips, I enjoy running (most of the time!) but don’t have a watch to chart my progress so I think sometimes I lose focus and give up too early… It’s good to have a time or distance to work towards!


Sara (The Veggie-Eco Life) June 16, 2011 at 2:20 am

Thank you Angela, these tips are really helpfull :)
Since I just started running, I’m not going to race anytime soon, when I think I’m really into it, maybe I will (but that’s probably going to be sometime during fall/winter)


crista June 16, 2011 at 4:18 am

I’m new to running and I’ve only run 3 races… all in the last year. But when I’m training, even if it’s just on the treadmill I sprint to the “finish” and cheer :)

I’ve never run a 5k race and I want to try it, I went straight for 10k just because it was the most convenient race available :)


Ashley June 16, 2011 at 5:25 am

I just started the Couch to 5k last night! I love it! Definitely recommend to anyone that wants to start running! I need a new playlist too….


Out To Lunch Creations June 16, 2011 at 5:49 am

If you need some new music try Girl Talk! He is a DJ who mixes great dance songs. The albums are really fun and upbeat.


Lacia June 16, 2011 at 5:51 am

I just ran my first 5K last month. I’ve been running for about a year and a half, always wanted to do a race, but never had the courage to sign up for one. I’m so glad I finally did. I loved it and felt wonderful after. I had no intention of making any time goal, just wanted to enjoy the race. I ended up beating my normal 5K time by about 5 minutes! I was shocked! Must have been the “race adrenaline”. I’m going to try and hit up a 10K sometime this summer and I’ve already signed up for the Niagara 1/2 marathon. YIKES!


The Teenage Taste June 16, 2011 at 6:19 am

Great tips Angela! The only races I ever run are 5Ks because they are so much fun! They don’t require a lot of training and it’s so easy to see yourself getting better and faster. I’m actually running a 5K on Sunday! :-D


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 16, 2011 at 6:19 am

Have fun!


tweal June 16, 2011 at 6:42 am

Great tips Angela, thanks for sharing! I am trying to get back into running and this will really help me.


Sean June 16, 2011 at 6:47 am

Running long distances can suck lol. Finished Walt Disney World Half – right onto a 18miler race, and finishing with Pittsburgh Half Marathon… Finished with a stress fracture, third one in 3 years. 1-3 weeks off is nothing, ur fine. My injury is just starting to heal at 1 month off. Cross Training is a beast!


Megan (sweeton) June 16, 2011 at 6:58 am

My first 5k was just over a year ago at the completion of the C25k program…the program really works and I would suggest it to anyone and everyone. Very adaptable to any beginning fitness level.

I ran a half marathon a month ago (after 14 weeks of training) and then another 5k this past weekend…the 5k was SO MUCH HARDER! I was also a sprinter in HS, but I was still surprised by how intense the 5k was. I set a goal of sub-30 and got in at 29:31. The whole thing was a blur and went by so fast! I was grimacing at the finish but recovered so much more quickly than from the half. I think a 5k is great for the injury prone. Plus, the competitive aspect seems so much more urgent!

I really think you should try one – you’d love it :) Plus…cheaper!


Ashley June 16, 2011 at 7:06 am

I am coming back to running after 2 months off (grad school), and I loved the tips!


Andrea June 16, 2011 at 7:20 am

I LOVE reading your blog- very motivating! Oh, and your 3 mile time- I can only hope to go that fast, nice job!!


Tiff @ Love, Sweat, and Beers June 16, 2011 at 7:21 am

I have already done one 5k this summer, but I’m thinking of trying my first halfie. I’m not so sure it’d go so well since I’m injury prone too. Yeah… still thinking that one over.


christie June 16, 2011 at 7:29 am

“breathless agony leads to this high euphoric feeling when it’s over.” I am soooo addicted to ‘breathless agony’. Wonderful post girl.


Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin June 16, 2011 at 7:30 am

Love these tips! I totally agree that a Garmin is key. I always had to guess my distances/times before I got one, so it was really hard to set goals.

I’m thinking of doing a 5k race sometime this summer too! Which ones (other than the one this weekend) are you looking at?


Zestful Lou June 16, 2011 at 7:40 am

I’m the opposite of you. I’ve done countless 5Ks while competing in high school and college. Once in a while, in college, they would up the distance to a 6k, but nothing more. I’ve raced one 10k in my life, but I’ve never tried a half or full-marathon and I want to desperately. I can’t seem to run injury-free for more than a couple of months and I am starting to get very down about it. Right now I have foot pain that is keeping me from running all together. So sad…


Claire Smith June 16, 2011 at 7:42 am

One of the best things you can do to decrease your race time are speed workouts! Sprinting was never my thing- my body just won’t go fast- but even with one or two speed workouts a week, you will see a definite improvement. I like to go to the local high school track to do my fast runs. Some of my favorite workouts include ladders (1200, 800, 400, 2×200, 2×100), fartleks (hehe- basically intervals of fast and slower running. These are especially great!), and basic repeats. With faster runs, warming up and cooling down is crucial. I like to jog 2-3 laps for both. Good luck with your 5k journey!


Julie @ Shining From Within June 16, 2011 at 7:46 am

My first race was a 5k! It was so fun and exciting and the people were awesome. I ran it with my family so it made it all the more enjoyable and memorable. But I felt like it was over before I had even started! I hope to run a 5k soon and smash my current 5k PR. I have a half marathon coming up in August and I am just thinking now about how HOT it’s going to be! Yowzaaa.


katie June 16, 2011 at 7:52 am

perfect timing with this post for me as I’m now trying to switch from marathon training to speedy runs and much shorter distances. It’s appealing much more to me these days than 2 hour runs! Thanks for the awesome tips.


Emmanuelle June 16, 2011 at 8:05 am

Ooooh, been a while :)

My, you are speedy! Great tips Angela :)

I started running last year with C25K. Until then, I hated running, and running one minute for me was like the end of the world! I don’t know what got into my head when I thought “oh, I want to give running a chance”.
I ran my first – and only so far! – 5k back in December, since then I’ve been running like twice a week, very short runs actually. My yoga teacher training is taking a lot of my time, but when it’s over I’ll have a bit more time. Maybe, depends on the number of classes I teach :D
But my plan is to run a 10k in December, cold running is not a problem. I already have a 4k Ladies’Run planned in October during the Brussels Marathon, weehee!


Natalie June 16, 2011 at 8:10 am

Can you give us a sample playlist? I get stuck in playlist ruts too and listen to the same songs over and over … I know it’s getting bad when I hear the song on the radio and expect the following song to be what’s on my playlist!


Amanda June 16, 2011 at 8:21 am

At christmas time i decided to finally lose weight after many years of being extremly obese. I decided to do the c25k program. Never been able to run more then 20 seconds in my life. At 290lbs I started it,, and 9 weeks and 30lbs later I ran my first 5k. This program actually works and its very easy to follow. I’am still at 255 lbs running 2-3miles per day. Doesnt matter your size , anyone can do this program!! Give it a try!!!


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 16, 2011 at 8:27 am

Congrats…that is amazing!


Dominique @ being domUnique June 16, 2011 at 9:04 am

I’m currently training to run my first 5k in the fall using the Couch to 5K Program! I literally could not run a mile when I started it, but now I’m almost through week 2 and I’ve already developed a small love affair with running. It’s awesome!!


Nathalie June 16, 2011 at 9:04 am

These are great tips! I’ve been reading you for a while now but have never commented. I started the Couch to 5K training program last month and so far I’m by week 5 and feeling amazing. My goal is to run a 5K at the end of the program and then train myself to get better speed work. Eventually I’d like to try the (don’t laugh!) Disney Princess Half-Marathon. I have a 5 year-old daughter and I’d like to make a weekend out of it…and want to make her proud of mommy :-)


Nathalie June 16, 2011 at 9:08 am

Oh, BTW, I’m drinking a Green Monster this morning :-)


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 16, 2011 at 9:12 am

me too!


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 16, 2011 at 9:11 am

aww thats so sweet!! Goodluck I know you can do it!


Leanne (Bride to Mrs.) June 16, 2011 at 9:29 am

Hi Angela!

I definitely agree with you about racing shorter distances (I completed my first 10km race last September)… I might one day do a half marathon but as of right now, 3-4 miles is a lot for me.

You’ve inspired me to officially look for a 5km to sign up for. I also plan on re-doing the 10km this year and I’d like to beat my time from last year :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 16, 2011 at 9:51 am

yay goodluck!!


Krissy @ Shiawase Life June 16, 2011 at 9:37 am

Awesome speedy time on your practice 5K! :)

I had a random question about your camelbak. I wear one for longer runs as well (even wore it on my 1/2 marathon in January) but I have a problem with the straps digging/rubbing in my shoulder. Do you or any of your readers have any suggestions for minimizing the irritation?



Angela (Oh She Glows) June 16, 2011 at 9:51 am

hmm what about moleskin or a blister ointment?


Becca June 16, 2011 at 9:57 am

I ran a 5k today! I was only hoping to achieve 4k, and when I started running, my morning lethargy and the stale feeling of a hangover in my head made even that seem unrealistic. The first five minutes were tortuous, followed by a further ten minutes telling myself I just had to get through them. Finally, at about 15 minutes, my love for running kicked in and I got an extra km out, telling myself that five minutes of running now might seem tough, but the feeling of contentment for hours after it was definitely worth it.

In general, though, I’m training for a half-marathon. Got my ‘gait analysis’ at the weekend and have a sweet pair of Brooks Bros. trainers to compete with! I’ve been running 10km pretty regularly at the gym – I was trying for once a week until my finals started, but I’m back on track now – but haven’t yet ventured outside. Everyone tells me it’s initially harder but much more enjoyable, I’m just scared… I know you did it the opposite way round, and started outside, but any tips for an ok runner but athletic agoraphobe??


Heather S June 16, 2011 at 10:12 am

I just took second place within my age bracket in a 5k race I did with my mom – awesome feeling!! Although I love me a half marathon, 5ks are much more managable with a busy schedule ;)

The song that pushed me to an awesome finish – Steve Aoki – Turbulence. If you like techno/fast strong beats, this song will definitely give you the push you need!!


Brooke June 16, 2011 at 10:17 am


I just love your website, I think I find myself checking it every day! You have the most adorable pictures and interesting recipes. I got so motivated after reading your post today, I went for a 3 mile run right after I read it! And I actually ran it in 24 minutes so thank you for your motivational blog! lol I’m from the US but can’t find any 5ks around my area. Have any suggestions?


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 16, 2011 at 10:27 am

congrats on your run!!


Ashley June 16, 2011 at 10:24 am

I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now, and I am so thankful for this post– because yesterday my boyfriend and I were talking about finding a new challenge in our lives. I just read your first race posts recently, and since both my boyfriend work from home– we’ve been finding ourselves very sedentary, with the exception of nightly walks, yoga and some swimming. So we have decided we want to start training ourselves to run, and maybe work toward the goal of running a race one day. So this post was exactly what I needed! And any other advice would be greatly, greatly appreciated. :)


Meghan June 16, 2011 at 10:29 am

I love this post! Especially how you can be really slow runner and it doesn’t matter, just get out there and do it. Thank you :)


Sam June 16, 2011 at 11:20 am

I ran my first 5k when I was in the 6 grade with my dad (I am a sophmore now). I was probably the youngest one there. I think I took one walking break but I otherwise ran the whole thing. This was because when I was running the adults would all ask me how old I was and the commended me on running the 5k. That pushed me to run the whole thing. The best motivation can come from total strangers!! :P


Kate June 16, 2011 at 11:20 am

Just ran a 8K race last Saturday where I actually PR’d! Looking to run a 5K race in July and have a Womens Only Half Marathon in early September. I’ve never been a fast runner, but I have dropped 2 minutes off my finish times since becoming a vegetarian.


Moni'sMeals June 16, 2011 at 11:22 am

Great post Angela!

Nice time too.

I am not a runner, but I think this is a great post… I really do. It has such helpful info and GREAT TIPS for everyone. :)

Have a nice day!


kaila @ healthy helper! June 16, 2011 at 11:23 am

Great tips!!! Thanks Ange! And good luck with your 5k!


Cait's Plate June 16, 2011 at 11:42 am

I wish I COULD have summer races planned but I slipped two discs in my back and am currently out of commission :( I’ll happily live vicariously through you though!! ;)


Hilliary @ Happily Ever Healthy June 16, 2011 at 11:48 am

These are some great running strategies, I cannot wait to try them on my upcoming runs. There are times when I just set out for a morning run with no goals, and it sets me up sometimes for failure (if I do less then I think I should)!


Sonia (the Mexigarian) June 16, 2011 at 11:52 am

I am currently training for a 10k in July. I was doing Couch to 10k back in Jan and Feb for a race in april but then I got sick for 3 weeks and my endurance + breathing was shot to hell so no race for me. Boo.

I sometimes get discouraged when I see people posting 9 or 8 minute miles and feel so damn slow! I know my 12 minute mile is not bad and is as good as it can be for my current health and fitness, but I know I can be better. It’s just so hard not to compare yourself to another racers time. :\ That’s why I am trying no to go for a PR when I race in July. I just want to be able to finish it and not care how long it takes me (as long as I am not picked up by the slow poke police).


Molly @ the F-spot June 16, 2011 at 11:59 am

I’m a triathlete and am training for a Half Ironman in July, so my runs are much longer these days. I’m looking forward to the 3 mile runs during my taper!

I am so impressed with your sub-24 run ESPECIALLY WITH 924 FEET OF ELEVATION GAIN! Wow! Good for you! I am addicted to my Garmin and the elevation is an important measure to track — this is a fancy feather in your hat, Angela! :-)


Gina (Yogattude) June 16, 2011 at 12:13 pm

My boyfriend “the non-runner” asked me if I would do a 5K with him this summer. After I picked my jaw back up off the floor, I realized…I haven’t run in about 6 months…yikes! I hurt my back earlier this year and was out of commission for about 2 months. I never got back into it after, but am feeling about 95% better these days. I will be starting slow and an looking forward to measuring my progress over the next few months!


Ashl @ loveandrunningshoes June 16, 2011 at 12:27 pm

I ran my first 5k a couple of summers ago. This year I’m running another, as part of my first triathlon! I have no idea if I will complete it (I’m going from zero to tri in 3 months), but I’m grateful for your (and all the commenters’) tips to make it an easier journey!


Jessica June 16, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Came across your blog on foodbuzz & am your newest follower!!!
– Jessica @ http://cajunlicious.com


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 16, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Thank u!


Angela June 16, 2011 at 1:10 pm

I just started running five weeks ago and I’m running my first race on Sunday. I hope to break 40 minutes and then gradually speed up from there. I did 5k last night in 41 so it should be doable. I hope everyone has a great summer filled with running fun.


Jane June 16, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Great job on your speedy run! I used to love the 5k when I ran track. You could try some interval training. A good workout to try is a 4 min on followed by a one min recovery jog 5 times. Also try a two min speed one min jog and work your way up to 10 x. I like doing these on a nice flat path. You will really improve your pace! Keep up the good work!


Stefanie @TheNewHealthy June 16, 2011 at 1:17 pm

I have run 3 5k’s to date and I hope to run a longer race sometime soon! :)


char @ char on a mission June 16, 2011 at 1:26 pm

I haven’t ran ANY races yet, but I think it would be smart for me to start with a 5K. I ran 5.7 miles on my own yesterday, but the thought of entering a 10K really scares me for some reason. Maybe it’s the thought of it being a race?

I actually looked at that 5K in Oakville. I figured if I die (figuratively speaking), I always have my grandparents who live there to come and rescue me! haha

My friend was also looking into a 30K night run…which kind of intrigues me a bit (yet, here I am worrying about a 10K in the day…d’oh!)


Katherine June 16, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Few questions:

Do you know of something like Garmin I can get but for MUCH cheaper?
How do you keep your ipod with you?
What is your normal schedule for running?


Lisa @ happypuppyluckylady June 16, 2011 at 1:41 pm

I LOVE your running tips and it was EXACTLY what I needed right now to prep myself for this Saturday’s Summer Breeze 5k I signed up for!! http://www.runforyourlife.com/race/summer-breeze-5k I also read your tips on how to run a negative split–which I have never had explained to me. So I’ll def try to speed up the 2nd half of my 5k this Saturday and keep your tips in mind to sprint that last half of the race to better my time. Thanks Angie!

P.S. I have ran 3 5ks in the past, along with 1 8k and 1 half-marathon…but this was all in 2007! So I’m just now getting back into running after taking a long break away from running the races.


Anne P June 16, 2011 at 2:01 pm

I love that you point out that a “speedy” run and a “long” run will be totally different for everyone. So true!


jodie June 16, 2011 at 2:51 pm

My new running song is Florence and the Machine’s Dog Days are Over — love it love it love it!


Carey @ Positively Blonde June 16, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Thanks for the tips, they are definitely very helpful! Especially the last one haha I’m hoping to run my first 5k this fall, so I will be sure to keep these tips in mind :)


Emily June 16, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Love this post! I’m 3 weeks and a few days away from a 15k, I’m so excited!
I’ve never done a 5k but I have done a 4 mile race which was fun! It was a couple weeks after I had run my first half-marathon so it seemed like a very quick race to me!


Mel S June 16, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Great run Angela! You are super speedy!! I have ran numerous 5ks, and completed my first 1/2 marathon memorial day weekend! I love you suggestion for drinking GM after runs, I usually refuel with GM after my long runs. Do you eat anything before you run or race? What have you found that works best for you? How long do you usually wait to run after you eat to avoid stomach cramps?


Rebecca @ How the Cookies Crumble June 16, 2011 at 5:32 pm

I love how you’re just getting started on your outdoor running for the summer and I’m wrapping mine up because of the heat!


Aja June 16, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Those are great tips and they’ll be really helpful for me. I’m getting back into running after a year of being banned from it. Hopefully someday I’ll do something more than just a morning run.


Isobelle June 16, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Thank you for this!


Lauren June 16, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Angela, kind of random, but I have Food Network on and a commercial came on for the Next Food Network Star and I thought of you. Seriously, you should try out for the next season. How cool would that be?!


Molly @ RDexposed June 16, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Ugh, I’ve been down and out for 13 months from a training run my half marathon. I need to take up yoga. First I must move to a city with a yoga studio though!


[email protected] June 16, 2011 at 9:27 pm

these are allll great tips Angela! I totally agree about the h20–even a few drops are enough to soothe dry throat.


Natalie June 17, 2011 at 2:26 am

Woo good luck! Ive been training for a half marathon, but then found out that the race day was on my birthday..my 18th birthday :( so not sure whether im gonna do it anymroe :(


Alyssa June 17, 2011 at 5:26 am

For some reason I find that longer songs (6-7 min vs. 2-3 min) REALLY help me and my run. You get lost in the song, running to the beat, and before you know it, a huge chunk of time/road is gone!
A couple suggestions: John Butler – Ocean & The Grateful Dead – Sugar Magnolia


ellalinea June 17, 2011 at 5:32 am

I’ve signed up for my first 10 k in september!!! :) So excited, I’ve never run a race before..

I hope to do it in 1hour and 5 minutes..

thanks for the great tips!


AGS @ WestWithFlight June 17, 2011 at 8:01 am

Thanks for the suggestion about the couch to 5K program. I’ve been having difficulty getting back into running after the pregnancy, and this looks like a really great plan. Yes — I’ve run 5Ks and other distances. I like 5Ks because they are often run/walks and so is a more relaxed atmosphere. I think they are just a fun way to start a weekend morning. Good luck with your training!


Holly June 17, 2011 at 1:23 pm

I just finished week 3 of the Couch to 5k program this morning, and trust me, I’m not breaking any landspeed records. It’s a slow jog or a slog. But I did it, and I’m proud of myself for committing to running 3x per week and putting myself on the top of my list to get it done. That is big for me. I’ve got my first 5k event in September and that is what I am working for. After that I’ll start working on increasing speed with the tips you recommend above, thanks!


Mikki June 17, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Well I am done having my babies (21 months and 3 months) I am ready to get my body back and I have started running now. At first I sucked so bad…I couldn’t run more than a couple minutes, but yesterday I ran 2 miles without stopping and they were both 12 minute miles. I was so proud of myself. I have set my goal to run a 5k at the end of September (registering tomorrow!) and I will be doing a 2k fun run in mid-July as practice/continued training. My long term goal is to run my city’s half marathon in a year from now (and fit back into all my old clothes!) Thanks for all the great tips!


Kim June 17, 2011 at 2:37 pm

finally leaving a comment (love your blog!)

I’ve only run a few small races, but when I do, I always try to pick out random people ahead of me and make it my goal to pass them and find someone new. This crazy competition in my head keeps me moving even when I want to stop, and even when I’m running side-by-side with that person, I still feel good because at one point, they were faster than me!


Katie @ Real Food Katie's Way June 18, 2011 at 11:43 am

Fantastic tips!! I visualize the finish line every single time I run (which is 3-4 times per week). I am training for a half marathon which is on September 11th.

I like to set hefty goals! I lost 135 pounds. Goal achieved. I started running last year. Goal achieved. I set a goal to run a half this year and will achieve it. BUT I am the same as you. My body does not enjoy running longer distances…After 12-14 KM (which is where I am at right now) my knees ache…My hamstrings cry…My shoulders weep!

After my half I am going to just stick to 10K long runs and 5 K short runs…I’m not a runner as it is so I’m just happy my body is holding on ;)


Laura @ prettylittlewords June 18, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Great post, Angela! I’m actually running my VERY first 5k next weekend, and I’m in the same boat as when you started….with 3 miles being long, and being barely able to do a 12 min mile! Nonetheless, I’m still really proud of myself and can’t wait to improve!


Selena June 23, 2011 at 8:10 pm

I’m very new to running and I’m a 30-something mom of 3 little girls who works full time so time isn’t something I have a lot of. I’ve been really trying to get out 3 times a week so I can do the C25K program. I’m about to wrap up week 6, although it has taken me closer to 8 weeks to do it since I stretch my 3 runs out over a week and a half sometimes when time is tight. Not ideal but I’m sticking with it. Goal is to run (ok jog) a 5K on Aug 6th. I don’t really have a time goal, I just want to do it w/o walking. We’ll see what my time is and then maybe I’ll set a goal for race #2 based on time.


Selena June 23, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Oh and I meant to say that you and the blogs you lead me to (healthytippingpoint, carrotsncake, katheats) are the reasons I laced up the running shoes. You guys inspired me!!


Helen June 17, 2013 at 6:56 am

I used some advice from here when I started running with asthma: http://treatit.net/how-to-prevent-asthma-attack-and-cope-with-it/ But I injured foot in a week. I ran every day, sometimes in the morning and evening and wanted more! Now I am eager to continue in spite of pain but I am not sure that it is harmless. What do you think?


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