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How to Train for Your First 5K

RCM Training (aka Me) had a big weekend!

One of my many activities included speaking at the How to Festival hosted by the Louisville Free Public Library. My friend Amy put me in touch with the lovely library folks and they asked me to give a presentation on How to Train for a 5K.

I was really excited.

A photo posted by Rennay Cooke Marshall (@rnay225) on

So in case you missed it, here are my 5 tips for getting to your first 5K...

1. Figure Out Your Why

Answer the question: Why do I want to do this? Think about what you want to gain and what you’re willing to sacrifice.
Exercise can’t be done for somebody else

2. Pick a Course that Plays to Your Strengths

This is directly related to your why.
What kind of atmosphere works for you? A fun run? A smaller yet more competitive field? A large family-friendly event with lots of energy?

3. Commit to Training

Find a plan, follow the plan and trust the plan. Whether it’s online, with a coach or with a group, you’ll need some kind of plan and strategy to get through the event.
Schedule training into your day ahead of time to ensure it gets done. If you have a work meeting early one morning, you’ll need to train later or maybe even on a different day. Don’t leave it to chance.

4. Learn to Listen to Your Body

The surest way to avoid injury is to listen when your body talks. If a pain is specific, stop what you’re doing to cause it.
Go to the doctor if pains persist.
Rest when the plan says to whether you need it or not. Better to rest when you don’t want to than rest because you have to.

5. Have Fun

Remember, you choose to do this. You want to do this. If it’s not fun, why do it?

I had the full presentation recorded which I'll get uploaded to my YouTube channel this week. If you go to it now, please don't judge me. I haven't actually done anything to it yet!

For those of you who just want the Clif's Notes...


  1. Look at you!!!! So proud of you. I know you probably don't look forward to being a speaker in front of a group of strangers but you look so confident! LOVE IT! You Trainer you! :)

  2. What an honor that you got to do that! And you did great girl!!


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