Why you should start training now for running a turkey trot

We might still be far off from the inevitable turkey trot 5K races that take part around the country on Thanksgiving Day, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start training for it now. Whether your 2020 turkey trot ends up being a virtual turkey trot nature or a live in-person race, training early can only benefit you.

Reasons to Begin Turkey Trot 5K Training Now

Here are some of the top reasons to begin training for your real or virtual turkey trot now.

1. Build Endurance

It goes without saying that training builds endurance. If you are a brand-new runner and this will be your first race ever, you cannot go wrong by training early. Likewise, seasoned runners need to keep up on training so they won’t lose the endurance they’ve built.

One might argue that endurance isn’t necessary for a 5K because it is a short race. While this is true for runners accustomed to longer distances, a 5K can feel like a hefty distance to the newbie. We were all there once gasping for air, muscles burning, in utter shock that we only passed the half-way point of our first 5K. If it is your first 5K, consider trying a virtual turkey trot like the one offered by The Virtual Run Challenge.

2. Find the Right Pace

Training early for one of our Thanksgiving virtual runs like 2020 Revenge of the Birds 5k, The 2020 Turkey Trot Challenge, or America’s Turkey Trot will give you plenty of time to find the right pace. A virtual 5K race tends to be run very fast, and it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of others and start off too quickly. It is true that races will always be run faster than training runs. However, if you train appropriately, you will be able to pace properly so you do not wear yourself out early in the race.

3. Go for a PR

The old adage, practice makes perfect, is completely true. In the runner’s case, practice makes PRs or personal records. Make this turkey trot your best 5K time ever by beginning your training for it now. Over time, speed will naturally come to you during your runs. If you set a goal of making a PR by a certain date, you are more likely to achieve it.

4. Running Benefits Health

Whether you are a seasoned runner or just starting out, the health benefits of running are inarguable. So, instead of putting off training until this fall, start now to immediately reap the benefits of running including:

  • better sleep
  • increased cardiovascular health
  • stronger bones and muscles
  • improved mental health
  • strengthened immune system
  • possible weight loss or maintenance

5. Kill Quarantine Time

Since almost every major event has been canceled almost everywhere, many of us have been blessed with extra free time. There are no school sporting events to take the kids to, so go for a run. You can’t catch a baseball game this spring, so go for a run. Do you see where I am going with this? Instead of all the plans that were canceled, you can still start training for a race in November.

Essential workers, who might be putting more time in on the job, can still benefit from carving out a bit of time to go running. Times are currently very stressful and training for a turkey trot can help channel that stresses into something useful.

Frontline healthcare workers need to be especially vigilant in maintaining their own health while taking care of others infected with the coronavirus COVID-19. As noted above, running helps to strengthen immunity and provides for better sleep. Both are key to maintaining the health of these brave workers.

Tips for Beginning Your 2020 Turkey Trot Training

If you are ready to begin your training for the Turkey Trot 5K, we have some helpful tips for you. Over the years through trial and error, runners have come up with some basic “rules” or guidelines to keep in mind when training.

  1. Start off slowly. If you have not been running, do not expect to go out and run the full 5K during your first training run. You will certainly pay for it in soreness for days on end. Instead, start short with just a ½ mile run.
  2. Only increase the running length by 10% each week. This gradually trains your body to get used to running, and you are less likely to develop injuries.
  3. Give yourself 10 minutes per run to warm up and cool down. Again, this will help to mitigate injuries.
  4. If you are road running, make sure you run against the traffic. This allows you to see oncoming traffic and stay safe.
  5. Give yourself at least two hours after eating a full meal to go on a run. Stomach cramping and even vomiting can occur if your food is still digesting during your run.
  6. Eating carbohydrates or carbo-loading is totally okay within the days before a race. At the same time, do not use the pre-race time to try out new foods.
  7. For each cumulative mile you run each week, try to get that many more minutes of sleep per night. For example, if you clock a total of 30 miles in one week, try to get an extra 30 minutes of sleep per night for optimal recovery.
  8. Running alone will not be enough to get you to a PR. Mix in strength training with your workouts.
  9. Replace your running shoes every 400-500 miles and only use these shoes for running.

Sign Up for the Turkey Trot

Sign up for the virtual turkey trot today here. If you’ve signed up, it is easier to hold yourself accountable to a training regimen. Then, follow our tips to keep injury at a minimum while optimizing performance. Whether this is your first or 50th 5K, just have fun with it. Now, get out there and run.

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