Get Inspired to Run a 5K With These Tips from Avid Disney Runners

Whether you consider yourself a runner or haven’t attempted a mile since you were forced to in high school, there’s no better time to lace up those sneaks, get outside and log some miles. Need some motivation? Better is proud to present the inaugural 2020 Walt Disney Birthplace Virtual 5k, in support of the restoration of the home in Chicago’s Hermosa neighborhood where Walt Disney was born in 1901. When completed, the Walt Disney Birthplace will become a museum and destination for Disney fans from all over the world.

Walt Disney Birthplace

Joining us in running the Walt Disney Birthplace Virtual 5K are four diehard Disney fans and avid runners. We asked them to share their stories and top tips to inspire you to join us! Learn more about the race and how to sign up here. And if you need some extra training help, here’s how to train for a 5K.

Lisa aka @TheCastleRunner

Lisa DiNoto Glassner
Lisa DiNoto Glassner

How long have you been a runner? 

I took up distance running as a way to cope when my father became ill 7 years ago and haven’t stopped since.

What’s your favorite training tip? 

Whatever you can do is what your current goal should be — and that’s the beauty of running. Compare yourself against no one but what you did yesterday and allow the sport to grow with you. If you can do 30 seconds today, do 35 seconds tomorrow. If you can walk an 18-minute mile today, jog a 17-minute mile next month. So long as you’re putting one foot in front of another and feel challenged, you are doing it right.

What are some training products you can’t live without? 

You don’t need a thing but your own two feet to run. That said, I love my AfterShokz headphones as a way to feel safe and stay aware of my surroundings while I’m training or at a race.

Do you have any tips for making virtual races more fun? 

Do them “with” friends!! You don’t have to be together to run together. Set a date and time and all get out there at the same time and cheer each other on. And don’t be embarrassed about dressing up or otherwise having fun with it. It’s those details that make them so much more than just another training run.

What race are you most looking forward to running once in-person races resume? 

I’d take anything at this point — but crossing the finish line of the next runDisney marathon and finishing my 4th Dopey Challenge [running the 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Full Marathon] — whenever that happens and in whatever form it takes — is going to be a special moment.

Besides the Walt Disney Birthplace, are there other causes or nonprofits you’re passionate about supporting, either through races or just in general? 

Because of my family’s history, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society will always hold a special place in my heart and be among the charities that I support the most.

Michael aka @MichaelDoesDisney

@MichaelDoesDisney

How long have you been a runner? 

For about 3 years now!

What’s your favorite training tip? 

Slow and steady wins the race. I try to make sure that I never push myself TOO hard during training sessions.

What are some training products you can’t live without? 

Body Glide (because chafing is truly the worst), NUUN (to keep me hydrated and energized) and my LuluLemon headband to keep the sweat out of my eyes!!!

Do you have any tips for making virtual races more fun? 

Make an adventure out of it! Create a costume or theme for yourself so that you can really feel like you’re participating in an activity, not just going for a normal run.

What race are you most looking forward to running once in-person races resume? 

The Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge! It will be my first one (48.6 magical miles spread over four days in January!)

Besides the Walt Disney Birthplace, are there other causes or nonprofits you’re passionate about supporting, either through races or just in general?

Give Kids The World Village — It’s an 84-acre nonprofit resort in Central Florida that sends critically ill children and their families on cost-free weeklong vacations to the most magical place on earth (Walt Disney World) and other Orlando based theme parks.

Michael aka @RuntheSmallWorld

Michael @runthesmallworld

How long have you been a runner?

I ran before, but didn’t start to like running events until 2014 and the running itself until 2015.

What’s your favorite training tip?

When you get started, plan to ramp up your pace and volume much slower than you know you’re capable of. Then even slower than that!

What are some training products you can’t live without? 

I love Goodr sunglasses for summer running. My Garmin is so intrinsically baked into my running experience that it might as well be part of my body. Finally, nothing is as satisfying for me after a running workout as Hammer Nutrition’s Recoverite. It’s a carb/protein mix powder and I swear training always goes smoother when I have it on hand.

Do you have any tips for making virtual races more fun? 

Engage with other friends! Pairing up with friends you’ve met and run in-person races with to share the experience does wonders for enjoying a virtual race. This can be coordinating outfits, planning virtual pictures together, or just planning for a group to tag each other in posts, stories, or other public areas as you each finish your personal race.

What race are you most looking forward to running once in-persons races resume?

That’s a tough one! I’ve been known to go overboard at runDisney races with costumes so I’m absolutely going to be ecstatic the first time I’m back at one of those. The full marathon is my favorite distance, though, and I do a lot of them so I’m mostly going to be excited about the very first full marathon I can get on my calendar once things get started again.

Besides the Walt Disney Birthplace, are there other causes or nonprofits you’re passionate about supporting, either through races or just in general?

My biggest personal cause I champion through running is intrinsically linked with my marathoning experience. She’s the First is a great nonprofit that works to promote education for girls around the world, especially in nations where girls’ education simply isn’t a priority. I partnered with them to raise money when preparing for the NYC Marathon as my first marathon in 2015 and I’ve dedicated a lot of my running and non-running activity to fundraising for the cause ranging from running a 50 miler in 2018, to a full marathon every month in 2019, to birthdays, hair dying stunts, and beyond.

Beyond that I’m a very passionate supporter of Atlanta Track Club as an incredible nonprofit that bolsters the sport in Atlanta. I love how inclusive running can be and Atlanta Track Club is an organization that continues to lead in sharing the experience with a greater number of people.

Joe aka @DVCRunner

Joe @DVCRunner

How long have you been a runner? 

Just over 2 years.

What’s your favorite training tip? 

Keep it fun! Make sure to take your rest days.

What are some training products you can’t live without? 

Aftershokz headphones, Goodr sunglasses, and I only run in Hoka One Ones.

Do you have any tips for making virtual races more fun? 

Be involved in the runDisney community. Whether on Facebook or Instagram, there are a ton of people waiting to support and cheer you on!

What race are you most looking forward to running once in-persons races resume? 

runDisney’s Wine & Dine and Marathon weekends are my must-dos every season.

Besides the Walt Disney Birthplace, are there other causes or nonprofits you’re passionate about supporting, either through races or just in general?

Give Kids the World is a charity that means a lot to me.

A Little Inspiration from Me…

You probably know me as a longtime editor here at Better, but I’ve also been grateful to have my life totally transformed by getting back into running. I was a runner before my kids were born but, like many moms, found myself with little time for myself when my kids were young. Discovering the Disney running community and combining my passion for running with my love of Disney has helped me find a way to take time for my own health and fitness and has brought me so much joy — and new friends like the people in this story.

As a passionate supporter of the Walt Disney Birthplace, I’m so excited to be able to share this opportunity to run a race with you, our readers, in support of this great organization. I hope you’ll join me in signing up and be sure to share your race photos by tagging Better and the Walt Disney Birthplace on social media and using the hashtag #WDBVirtualSummer5K!

 

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Now that you are ready to hit the pavement, here are some running essentials we love.

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