Running Your First 5K
Running Your First Race
There's a good chance that if you're new to running and racing a 5k will be your first race. Running your first race is exciting! and I'm here to give you some tips that will help you catch the racing bug.
Everyone Can Race
No matter your age, ability level, or anything else you can thing of you can run and it is NEVER too late to start! Racing isn't reserved for just speedsters, racing is for everyone who wants to race. Races are fun and exhilarating. Don't feel intimidated going to your first race, there will be all sorts of people from back of the packers, to mid-packers, to the speedsters at the front of the pack. You'll always have someone to run with no matter what pace you're running.
Plan Your Training
As with any length race you'll need a proper training plan to run a 5k, especially if you plan on doing it without stopping or running a PR. Your training plan length will be dependent on your current activity levels and will vary from person to person. 5k training plans can vary anywhere between 5 to 12 weeks. If you think you want help figuring out your training then you may want to consider hiring a coach.
Currently accepting athletes of all abilities to my team. If you're interested in joining here's the link to my coaching page!
Stick to It
Everyone struggles when they first start running. Motivation can come and go, but you just need to stick to it! A consistent runner makes a good runner. Its perfectly normal to feel intimidated by a new training plan or workout regimen, but it's important to do your best to stick to it. Sticking to your plan will lead you to a more fun and successful race!
Get the Right Gear
Having the right running gear will make you feel more motivated to get out the door. Its good to have a good pair of reliable running shoes and a set of clothing that works for whatever the whether may throw at you. You don't have to accumulate all of your gear at once though! Its a good idea to slowly build up your running closet because buying everything all at once can get really expensive!
Set Reasonable Goals
If you're running your first race, its good to not have any time expectations, it might be good to ignore your time entirely, the goal of your first race to have fun while finishing the race. Although some ambition runners may want to set a time goal for their first race. If this is you, make sure your time goal is reasonable. You can make sure it is reasonable by basing it off of the times you've been running during your workouts.
Test Your Kit
Like any distance race you should test out your race kit before the day of the race. Wear your race kit during your longest training run. This will give you a chance to make sure everything is comfortable and that you don't start chafing in unexpected places during your race. Also, don't wear new shoes on race day, wearing new shoes can lead to blisters you weren't expecting in the middle of a race. Make sure everything you are wearing is tried and true.
Don't Eat Too Much Before the Race
A 5k race doesn't require the same kind of carb loading that a longer distance event such as the half or full marathons require. Just eat what you would normally eat the night before the race. On race morning eat your breakfast long before the start of the race, typically 2 to 4 hours before the race. This will give you enough time to digest what you've eaten before the race.
Make a Day of It
Turn race day into a special event. It's not a lot of fun to try to return to regular chores or errands after your race, take some time to enjoy your accomplishment. Even if you don't have time to give yourself the whole day, you can still try to give yourself the rest of the morning. Plan to meet up with friends for brunch after your race or even give yourself a spa day to unwind after a race. There are all sorts of ways to make your race day feel special.
Most importantly your first race should be fun. Smile during your race (trust me it'll make for better race photos). Don't be too focused on a time goal or the remaining distance, especially at your first race! As I like to say, the race is a celebration of your training!