Announcing UA 5k Team! Week 1!


February 2, 2013 by Darlene McC

Amazons, it’s cold out.  Obviously colder for some than others, but lets not split frozen hairs.  So you’ll think I’m crazy when I say “it’s time to start training for a 5k” especially when I follow up with “and I want you to run outside”.

Wait, don’t go! Just hear me out!

Remember when you were little and wanted to get everywhere by running your little tush off?  All the adults would holler at you to stop running around and if you didn’t listen they’d sit your butt in a chair.  At that time running was just as natural to you as breathing.

She knows.

At some point your butt was forced into too many chairs and you stopped running for good.

Or did you?

Running a 5k race is one of the best short term fitness goals you can give yourself.  For serious.  It’s 3.1 miles, which if you’ve never run you’ll think is really far.  However, it’s a very doable distance to build up to in a few short weeks/months.  It’s also a “gateway” distance.  Once you’ve had a taste and remember that running was fun when you were little, you may sign up for more and more races.

And for those who never stopped running it’s a drop in the bucket, a blip in your training, or a nice weekend activity.  So why not?

So I’ve been thinking…  It’s going to be a fun spring/summer of races, and wouldn’t it be a lot more fun to do it together?  Wouldn’t you rather we all run races, post times, share training, and otherwise be awesome?  I’ll be honest, it’s a little selfish.  I miss playing a sport where there are a dozen other gals working with me…  and, you know, we’d be a team then…

Urban Amazon 5k Team

Running in the modern world is a very individual sport.  You strap on your shoes and out you go into the wind, in your own head or with your music or whatever.  But in his book Born to Run Christopher McDougall describes ancient hunting tribes running together to “run hunt” down gazelles.  In the few existing instances of this in African men and women both go out together to pack hunt, chasing down their prey to exhaustion.

What if we can tap into that feeling of your high school or college team, channel that energy of pack hunting, and rally for one another on race days?  The idea of running with a dozen others instead of against a dozen strangers is so appealing to me!

Running has become a very individual sport; but in his book Born to Run Christopher McDougall describes ancient hunting tribes running together to “run hunt” down gazelles.  In the few existing instances of this in African men and women both go out together to pack hunt.  What if we can tap into that feeling of your high school or college team, channel that energy of pack hunting, and rally for one another on race days?

Who’s with me?!


This MIGHT be my mock up for a t-shirt icon…

Getting Ready To Run

We don’t just want you to bust out and run, we want you to be safe.  Because we love you.  And because knee injuries aren’t fun.  Every time you start a new activity the tissues in your body break down so they can rebuild themselves stronger.  If you break right out of the box without a low enough ramp up you can really hurt yourself.

Every week we’ll be posting workouts to help you build up your stamina, form, and power.  If you’ve never run before the workouts are going to mimic Couch to 5k.  This is one of the most well known running programs out there.  There are a million apps to help get you started and the barrier for entry is so low it makes perfect sense for you to start there.  We’ll share the workouts here; but you can also join RunKeeper.  They have a great app that will cue you when to run, their website is very helpful, and you can friend the other people on your team to keep motivated.

For those of you who’ve been running on & off all winter Darlene will be sharing the running workouts from her faster 5k series.

This Week’s Workouts

Rules of the (running) road: space your workout days.  Be sure to take a recovery day in between workouts to allow your body to heal and regenerate it’s needed energy stores.  Get lots of sleep, especially if the workout felt hard that day.  You may reschedule your workouts but you can not skip!

Couch to 5k Week 1:

This workout is for people new to running.  You can find it’s original source at

Week Workout 1 Workout 2 Workout 3
1 Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.
UA Faster 5k Week 1:

This workout is for runners who’ve done a few races and would like to improve their times.

A few quick labels in the workout:

Hills: Hill repeats are great for building hamstring strength and learning to run from your BUTT (and hamstrings.  But I just like saying it.)  Find a hill of decent length that takes about :45 to 1:00 to run up.  As you get stronger and faster you may need a bigger hill.

Tempo. In a tempo run you pace at your wanna-be “race tempo” in bursts.  You’ll need a well-known mile, whether a track or using a running app with your smart phones GPS.   For example: Say Jane currently runs a 10 minute mile 5k pace, but wishes she ran at 9:00.  She’s going to do half a mile shooting for 9:00 (which will feel really fast to her) and then run a mile for 10 minutes to catch her breath.  Then repeat.

Week Workout 1 Workout 2 Workout 3
1  Hills!  Find a nice steep grade and get ready to go to work.   Spend 1 minute charging up hill and 3 minutes jogging down and around to the start, then repeat 4 times.  Tempo: After a quick warm-up jog of 3 – 5 minutes get ready to run.  Go half a mile at your desired race tempo, then drop down to your last race speed till you catch your breath.  Repeat 3 times. Long and Strong.  If you love to run this will be your fun one.  Go out and run at your race pace for a good long while.  Enjoy it, but keep it under 8 miles.

Runners in NYC

For those in NYC we’ve got a small team together that we’d love for you to join.  We’re currently planning on doing the Run For Change on April 28, 2013.  Why so far away?  Because you need time to train up!  It’s likely we’ll have one in March as well, though one hasn’t been chosen yet.  We’ll also be doing the Brooklyn Color Run because it sounds crazy, and a few others.  Email to join us!

Runners Elsewhere

Make a team!  Grab some friends, choose a race, and get on it!  Make a ridiculous name or keep ours, we don’t care.  Be sure to add your race goal to either your 2013 goals or your rEvolution challenge.

For Next Week

Your homework is to sign up for your first race of the season and get out there for your first runs!  Next week we’ll have tips on keeping warm when it’s gross out, motivating yourself, why treadmill training is a TERRIBLE idea, and next week’s workouts!

Who’s In?


7 thoughts on “Announcing UA 5k Team! Week 1!

  1. […] So take care of your ticker!  May we suggest some regular cardio? […]

  2. xdhaas says:

    I’m in. I was planning on doing a few 5Ks this year anyway to increase my time, and I already signed up for that 15K in July that I heard was absolutely brutal. If my foot doesnt act up again, that is. Oh and I hate running lol Really, I do.

    • Darlene McC says:

      w00t! Happy to have you! Do you have a few picked already? What are they? You going to recruit any “team mates” or have us virtually?

      • xdhaas says:

        I will have you all virtually 🙂 There’s some people I train with so I shall point them in your direction to see if they are interested. As for 5Ks, I want to do the Pride 5K in June and the Color Me Rad in the fall, but other than that I haven’t decided yet.

  3. […] new to Urban Amazon, or missed last weeks post, UA5k is the Urban Amazon 5k team.  Check out the first post to get started on a running program and let us know that you’re […]

  4. […] you’re new to the UA5k Team you can check out the intro post to see what we’re all […]

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