So you want to run your first 5k? Or maybe you are a more experienced runner coming back to running and want to get back on the pavement again.
There is no question that you can do it. You may have to put your fears to rest to do what you have been preparing for, but you can do it.
You know how you feel when you’re training. If you’re new to running, you should be training multiple times per week for your first 5K.
My next 5K
In a little more than a week, I will be running another 5K. My goal is a sub-30 finish, but more importantly a personal best time. I officially ran my fastest 5K at the 811 Run.
I enjoy running. It is therapeutic in a crazy kind of way. There’s something calming about lacing up my sneakers and hitting the pavement, especially when I get to run along the river. It’s scenic and yet quiet at the same time.
Now don’t be mistaken, I am like you on race day, I look around at everyone else and think, “what made me think I could do this?” I’m sure lots of people have similar thoughts when they get out there regardless of how many times they have done it.
But here’s the thing – you can do it. Why? Because you have the desire to walk or run a 5K.
We all have the same goal – to cross the finish line and give their best effort. The finish times might be different, but the spirit is the same. To do something that feels meaningful, something to be proud of, something that maybe even felt a little out of reach a few months back.
You will find that race day adrenaline will most likely help you decrease your finishing time as well. Your heart will be racing, which will help you overall.
11 tips to run your first 5K from start to finish
Whether you’re preparing to run a 5K or a half marathon, use these tips to get you across the finish line.
- Take the guesswork out of race morning. Lay out everything the night before.
- Don’t try anything new on race day, from breakfast to clothing. Stick to your routine.
- Eat a highly digestible breakfast a couple hours before the start. Something like toast and jam, a banana or a bagel with a little peanut butter.
- Arrive at least 30 minutes early. This allows time for parking and potty time without stress.
- Warm up before the race – walk or easy jog.
- Sip water as you wait for the start.
- Line up appropriately at the start. Unless you plan on finishing in a top spot, start midway to further back. This will also help you keep that adrenaline in check.
- Start slower than you think you should—the first mile should feel comfortable.
- Break up the race mentally into thirds: 1. Keep it easy; 2. Hold pace; 3. Push and end with a strong finish.
- During walk segments, make sure you pull away from other runners and no one is behind you. Keep walks brisk.
- On the course, run a straight tangent; Avoid weaving in and out of people and taking wide turns.
Most importantly, enjoy it.
How did you decide when you were ready?