Sweat it out : 5 tips for a 5k


Humber Cross Country Coach Teresa Arnini | Courtesy of Humber Athletics
Humber Cross Country Running Athlete Katelyn Morgan. | Courtesy of Kirsten Schollig
Humber Strength and Conditioning Coach Joseph Latina | Courtesy of Humber Athletics











As spring blooms outdoor fitness becomes more appealing as the warm weather approaches.

For example, Humber’s 13th annual 5K walk/run takes places on April 12 and getting ready for such an event takes proper preparation.

Even if you’re not an athlete, physical exercise and being wary of meals and their nutritional value, are key to sustaining the body and mind for the long haul.

Training for any high-intensity activity needs adequate preparation prior to pick up on mileage and endurance to train the body to adapt to intensive activity, says Humber cross country coach Teresa Arnini.

“From an exercise standpoint, it depends on what level of training you’ve had before you get into advanced training,” Humber strength and conditioning coach Joseph Latina says.

In order to prepare for a long-distance exercise such as a five kilometre run, physical exercise must incorporate a weekly mix of stretches and running, says Humber cross country running athlete Katelyn Morgan.

“Stretches come in two formats, dynamic and static dynamic allows you to get the body in motion and warmed up and static is done stationary and held for at least 30 seconds,” she says.

Other key things, such as hill training to build speed or long running to gradually build endurance, contribute to the overall big picture. The 10 per cent rule, a weekly 10 per cent increase in mileage, is important for consistency, Morgan says.

She also says strength training twice a week is needed to build overall strength and muscle endurance.

“It’s important to work the biggest muscle groups first,” she says.

Making sure the body is properly fueled throughout the day is just as crucial as exercise, holistic nutrition consultant Sylvia Emmorey says.

Simple meal ideas such as carrots and humus, hard-boiled eggs, or an apple with nut butter all include a balance of carbs, protein, and healthy fats needed for everyday use, Emmorey says.

Finally, training smart is key when going into the five kilometre run, Arnini says.

“Buy a decent pair of running shoes. Be technically smart, and know what happens to the body when you’re doing it because anyone can do a fun five km. If the purpose is for fun, by all means do it and finish it but if the purpose is to develop and challenge yourself, you have to be smart about it,” Arnini says.

Taking all of this into consideration, whether preparing for the 5K or just to keep consistent with overall fitness heading into spring, here are some exercise examples to get you started.

* sweat put Aleema Ali through the paces to demonstrate the proper form of the exercises. Photos by Sanzana Syed*







1. Position your body so that you are on all fours, keeping the back straight.

2. Extend your left leg behind you and your right arm forward.

3. Hold the position for four to five seconds and then return to neutral.

4. Change to the opposite leg and arm and hold for four to five seconds and return to neutral.







1. Lay your back down and have your knees bent with your feet flat on the ground. Arms should be at your side with palms facing down.

2. Raise your hips off the ground until your knees and hips form a straight line. Hold the position for four to five seconds before returning to neutral position.







1. Sit down with one leg fully extended and the other leg bent with your foot against the extended leg’s thigh.

2. Lean forward and reach for the ankle of the extended leg and hold the position for at least 30 seconds.

3. Reverse and change position for other leg.







1. Position your body so that you are on your hands and knees, while looking downwards.

2. Extend the arms fully forward, stretch forward and hold for 30 seconds before returning to starting position.









1. Stand upstraight and face forward, with a dumbbell in each hand.

2. Raise and place your right foot on the platform and complete the step up onto the platform by placing your left foot onto the platform.

3. Step down with the left leg followed by the right leg to the neutral standing position.