Ten tips on Running a 5K
Here are some practical running advice that I have found over the past few years. I have seek out a lot of advice from successful 5k runners. Most regular runners probably know all of these tips. But if this is your first 5k race these are good to know.
Make sure you have a good running planning on race day. You should be very familiar with the course layout. Also know the rules - some races may have restrictions on running with headphones, or you may be required to wear a certain type of shirt.
If possible try to do a light jog to the race as part of your warm up.
Don't eat to much before the race, try to run with an empty stomach. This means no food at least 3 hours before the race. Once your done you can snack while you talk to your friends.
The pace that you start out during a 5k is most likely going to be different than your training. This is due to the crowd factor. You can plan this by starting your workout with a light jog before you get to your rhythm.
In some 5k races, your starting time doesn't begin until you cross the starting line. If there are a lot of people in front of you, take it easy as you approach the starting line.
Make sure that the running shoes that you have on are very comfortable and that you have used them regularly as part of your training. Don't switch to new shoes, even if they are the same types, because they may have some unexpected irregularities that could distract your running.
Position yourself correctly on the starting line. A 5k is a short race and you don't want to be spending the first 1/2 mile navigating between runners. Unsure of your position? Simply ask the people around you what their finishing time target is.
Don't change your routine, if you been training with music stay with it. Making a drastic change on race day could have a negative effect on your running performance.
As you approach the finish line, be aware of your surroundings as someone behind you could be sprinting faster than you. Don't make any sudden moves or turns.
After the race is over, walk it off and relax.
A few additional tips that I will add based on my own running experiences:
If you need to stop/walk at all during the race make sure to pull all the way to one side.
When training, not only should you learn to run the hills but it's also helpful to know how to navigate turns. Try to figure out the shortest possible route and do not take the corners too wide.
As I am running the race, I'll pick out someone way in front of me and use that as pace setter. As I get to the two mile mark, I start my strategy to catch up to them and pass them.
Don't be discouraged when a lot of people start passing you at the start of the race. You should be focus on your own running goals.
I tend to do better when I have a few relaxing days before a run. This means avoid taking the stairs 10 stories down and no practice running three days before the race.
If you are using any GPS devices or IPhones, make sure it's fully charged. You should also be comfortable wearing whatever holder that you need. I had problems with my ear piece that I didn't discover until the race started. Now I double check everything before leaving for the race.
I also like to know the course and pick out a visual of where the mIle markers are. Knowing where the 1/2 way mark makes running a bit easily.
If you know of any useful tips that should appear here, let me know and I'll update the list. I think I start working on a tip list for intermediate runners.