I've been working out with the goal of weight loss for about a month and a half now (after falling apart due to circumstances beyond my control for a couple of months) and specifically my first 5k for about 3 weeks, and I have about 2 months left before the race, so I'm looking at longer term preparation.
Right now, I do some kind of structured exercise every day:
Three days a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday), I run, currently on a treadmill due to the weather. When it's warmer and the weather isn't bad, I do tend to run outside. My runs are typically for ~30 minutes, with a ~5 minute cooldown period of light jogging transitioning into walking. In each running session (the 30 minute block), I always cover at least a 5k, more recently getting consistently into the 3.3-3.5 mile distance. My current comfortable pace for a 5k distance is about 9:50/mile, but I've gotten to 8:30/mile if I push myself.
Two days a week (Tuesday, Thursday), I use an elliptical on high resistance for 15 minutes and then do light weight lifting (biceps curls, chest press, triceps curls, lat pulldown, crunches, shoulder press) for 3 sets of 10 each, adjusting weight as necessary.
On weekends, I walk (on a treadmill, incline of 9-15 randomized for 30 seconds at a level) for 30 minutes.
So far, this has been working out really well for me. I've taken almost two minutes off my 5k time and lost something like 18lbs since mid-December. However, I'm wondering if I should change things up as I get closer to my 5k in order to focus on that particular goal and then switch back to this more generic workout after the race. Perhaps two months out is still too early to change, so my question is three-fold:
- Should I make changes my exercise to meet a short-term goal, especially when I have a routine that's working well for my long-term goals? Right now, that goal is a 5k. But I'm also thinking for other things as well (such as other 5ks or a potential future 10k a year from this summer).
- If I should change, when should I change? Should it be a change sooner or closer to the race day?
- If I should change, what should my routine look like in the weeks and days leading up to the 5k?