Search icon


12th Sep 2017

6 weeks to the 5 mile challenge? You CAN do it. Here’s how…

Katie Mythen-Lynch

Get involved in the movement for homes! Register now for the Simon Home Run and help those who are homeless.

Get ready to bust out the new runners.

With the kids back in the classroom, autumn is the ideal time to set yourself a new challenge, so why not tick that five mile run off your bucket list?

Whether you’re a seasoned runner or a nervous beginner, signing up for a charity run is a clever way to combine getting fit and achieving your personal goals while raising some much needed funds for Ireland’s hard working charities.

If you’re a newbie, don’t let the idea of running put you off; anyone can do it and it’s not about winning. The trick is to find your pace (even if that means walking and jogging) and aim to beat your own personal best.

There are countless apps to help you on your way, but we’ve put together six handy tips to get you started. Read them carefully, then find 20 minutes to do your first training session.

You’ll be headed for the finish line in no time.

1. Invest in decent footwear

If you’ve been rocking the same old runners for years now, it’s time to invest in a new pair of quality kicks. Talk to the shop assistant about your goals, have your feet measured (some sports retailers offer gait analysis) and choose trainers that will keep you comfy while you clock up the kilometres. Not only will they boost your confidence while you’re starting out, they’ll also help prevent injury.

2. Warm up

Planning to hit the ground running? Hold it right there, lady. Launching into a jog before your muscles have had a chance to warm up is bad news. Five minutes of stretching, walking or jumping jacks will loosen you up so you can begin in the safest way possible. Nothing will scupper your 5k dreams like a twisted ankle or a stiff neck.

3. Stay hydrated

The human body is over two-thirds water, so smart runners make hydration a priority. Pre-hydration (drinking plenty of water in the hours and days before a race) is key but take regular sips on the big day too. Eat a small snack of protein and carbs after each training session to help your muscles to repair themselves. A small chicken pita sandwich or hummus and carrot is ideal.

4. Alternate your pace

You don’t have to completely exhaust yourself during training. Be aware of your breath and alternate walking and light jogging until you find a pace you’re comfortable with. After a few sessions, add in 20 seconds of running, dropping back to a gentle jog when you feel yourself getting out of breath.

5. Cool down when you’re finished

As Kim Kardashian says, sweat is your fat cells crying. Nevertheless, it’s important to take five minutes to cool down after your workout. Do an extra lap of the park at your usual walking pace until your heart rate returns to normal and try some gentle stretching to help prevent muscle soreness.

6. Repeat until you’re comfortable

Most of us can find 20 minutes a day to do a quick training session and the beauty of running for fitness is that you can do it anywhere. Get a team together at work for a lunchtime jog or enlist some parents at the school gate.

In just a few short weeks of daily running, your confidence will be soaring, your skin will be glowing and you’ll be reaping the benefits of all those feel-good endorphins. What are you waiting for?

Dublin Simon Community are asking people to hit the pavement and come together, not just for fun but for homes! We want people of all ages to join the movement against the homeless epidemic in the Phoenix Park on October 7th.

Register now at and raise essential funds to provide homes to for those who are being devastated by the crisis.