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by JollyFrogger Diva



A Beginner's Guide to Training for a runDisney Event

I am not a expert runner. In fact, before meeting my husband, I had never run by choice. However, once my husband got bitten by the running bug I found it was a way for us to accomplish something together and have started running races with him occasionally. Recently we signed up for runDisney’s Virtual Series for Summer of 2019 that will double the number of 5ks I have run in my lifetime. You can read my article here on why we chose a virtual runDisney event. We just finished our first of 3 races, and I wanted to share a few tips I’ve gained from my limited running experience. Whether you choose to run a virtual race or an actual one, your preparations are going to be pretty much the same. Here are some of my tips for beginners on training for a runDisney event.

1) Make Sure You Have Proper Shoes
Sure, you could run in your every day tennis shoes if you’re not a serious runner and don’t want to invest in proper running shoes. However, I find that my feet and legs feel much better when running in shoes designed for runners. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a good pair of shoes. I have a pair of Fila Running shoes similar to these that I got on sale at our local department store that have been my running shoes for some time and my feet feel great during and after running in them. They have a gel insole that helps my feet feel cushioned, they fit well so I don’t get any blisters, and my flat arches are supported so that my feet and legs don’t ache after running in them. If you’re going to spend the money to enter a runDisney event, you owe it to yourself to spend the money to get some decent shoes to run in.

A Beginner's Guide to Training for a runDisney Event

2) Find a Good Place to Run
I like to train on terrain similar to what I’ll experience on race day. In this case, since we’re doing a virtual runDisney even, I get to decide where race day is. Given that I live in the deep South and summertime means high temperatures, high humidity, and unpredictable weather, I knew the chances were great that most if not all of our races would be run inside on a treadmill at our local gym. We do have a few places we like to run when the weather cooperates and thankfully those are in an area with only small inclines and declines, so treadmill training adequately prepares me to run there as well. If you’re doing an event at Disney, you can usually find what parks you’ll be running in or near under your event’s information so you’ll have some idea of the terrain.


A Beginner's Guide to Training for a runDisney Event

3) Find a Training Program
If you’re a beginner runner like me, it’s a good idea to find a training program that will help you build up to your goal before your event. There is a helpful section on runDisney’s website that offers training programs for both beginners and experienced runners based on the length of race you plan to run. I’ve also had some luck using the Couch to 5k Program, which despite it’s name, offers training programs for races of different distances as well. Confession- leading up to our June 5k, I had been slacking pretty hard on my training. When it came time to run the race, I could definitely feel how much harder it was for me to complete this race than it was during previous races where I had put in the effort to train. I also noticed I was much more sore the next day. I will definitely be putting in more effort to train for our July and August races because I have a personal record from several years ago that I would like to beat.


As I have previously stated, I am by no means an expert when it comes to running. The tips I shared above are ones that I have found helpful in my journey to run a few 5k races for fun. If you’ve never run a race before, runDisney is a fun way to introduce yourself to running and with virtual races as well as races throughout the year in the Disney parks, you’re bound to find one that works with your schedule. Let me know if you have any other beginner running tips to share, maybe I can learn something new.

If you need help planning a trip to Disney for your next runDisney event or just want a free quote on a vacation, contact Patricia at All for Dreams Travel.