Get ready for the Goodwill #RefuseToAbuse 5K

by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
March 10, 2016

You are invited to join us at Safeco Field on July 9, 2016 for the Goodwill #RefuseToAbuse 5K!

Seattle Goodwill has partnered with the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV) and Mariners Care again for this year’s 5K run/walk through the levels of Safeco Field—culminating with a final lap around the field. Proceeds support WSCADV’s efforts to put an end to domestic violence in Washington State.

You can join us, and honorary chair Margaret Larson, in taking a stand against domestic violence, and register for the 5K here:

Whether you’re planning to run or walk, here are a few tips for getting ready for a 5K:

If this is your first 5K, and you want to run, start preparing at least two months in advance.
A gradual introduction, and slow increase of aerobic exercise can help your body acclimate to the activity better—and will help you avoid the “why do people do this for fun?!” feeling that so many beginning runners experience. Try starting with 20-30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times per week, and increasing as you feel your body adjusting to the activity. The Couch to 5K Running Plan is an excellent place to start!

Wear the right shoes and clothes.
The right shoes and clothes can make the difference between an enjoyable experience, and being miserable the whole time.  If you’re trying to work your way into being ready to run a 5K, being uncomfortable during your initial workouts will reduce the likelihood that you’ll continue. Find a pair of sneakers that fit well and some comfortable athletic clothes—and don’t be afraid to try something new/different if what you have isn’t working. You can often find like-new (and sometimes brand new!) sneakers and active wear at Goodwill—and thanks to our return policy, you can bring items that aren’t working for you back.

How you hydrate today will inform how you perform tomorrow—so focus on getting and staying hydrated as a part of day-to-day life. As you run, be sure to rehydrate as much as you feel like you need to. Feel thirsty? Grab a cup at the next water station—or carry a water bottle with you (we’ve got plenty if you need one!).

Eat early.
A lot of 5Ks happen early in the day—Refuse To Abuse starts at 9 am—but it’s beneficial to get your fuel in about 2 hours before the race. Keep it simple and light, and something you know your body handles well. Many runners opt for things that are easy to digest, and pack a lot of energy—like a mix of carbohydrates (oatmeal, bagel) with a side of protein like peanut butter.

Be sure to warm up.
Going for a gentle jog, or brisk walk before the 5K can help you loosen up and avoid injury. After your warm up jog, stretch out a bit to keep your muscles limber.

If you’re new to 5Ks, start at the back of the pack.
The crowd at the beginning of a 5K can be overwhelming, and if you’re not accustomed to walking/running in a big group, it can cause trips and falls. The back of the pack is usually a little thinner, and allows you to set your own pace a little better without needing to keep pace with the more experienced participants.

Relax—and have fun!
Try to not get distracted by everyone around you—focus on YOUR best. Remember that at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how you place, but that you accomplished your goal of running (or walking) a 5K! And no matter how you finish, you came out and supported a great cause and are helping to bring an end to domestic violence in our state! 


Kim fancies herself a professional communicator. She has experience in writing, graphic design, and social media, and is always looking to expand her knowledge base into other fields of communication. She loves people, coffee & Seattle (including the rain).

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