Running your first 5k road race



For many of us, the thought of completing our first 5km road race can often be a daunting one. Running can be a mystery to many of us and we wonder how some of our peers can go for hours on end during a marathon while most of us struggle to keep our heart rates down for just a couple of kilometres. Here at Active Health, we look at how we can take you from where you are now (assuming you are just starting out) to running your first 5km road race, many of which are now littered in parks around Singapore.

The most common mistake found with many who are just starting out is that they push too hard and too fast without letting their body acclimatise to the strain of running. While running may seem like a predominantly lower body exercise, it actually activates the entire body. On top of this, there is additional strain to the ligaments and tendons during each run and without proper rest and recovery, can often lead to overuse injuries.

Here are three common myths about running that plague those who are just starting out:

  • More is better (a.k.a more mileage is always better) - Many think that running is all about mileage but while that is important to some extent, it is also how the mileage is being optimised that is important. There are hard days, slow days, tempo days etc and with the Active Health 5km plan, there are walking and jogging days as well as those that simply combine both. The idea is to optimise training because so many of us are time limited.
  • Run everyday - There’s really no need to run every day because all it does is increase the risk of injury. The body takes time to adapt and more often than not, it will thank you with increased fitness and threshold when you have days off.
  • Missing sessions - So many of us worry when we miss a session, thinking that it will hamper or reduce fitness levels. The idea is to follow the signs that your body is sharing with you. If you feel sick or tired, it would be safer to take an off day rather than risk falling ill or getting injured. Remember, this is a journey for life!


In short, enjoy the process and don’t beat yourself up if you miss sessions! Running is meant to be fun and there is little point in dragging yourself out and to be hitting the roads with a less than positive mindset.

Our #startwith60 5km running plan is now available for download and we hope you have as much fun doing it as we did planning it for you!


Do give us your feedback and we hope to see you at one of the park runs during the weekends!

More information about the park runs can be found here:

Tag us on instagram @activehealthsg and #betterbeatsperfect


Topics: Physical Activity