If you’re entering your first 5km race, you might be a little daunted about what to do and when, how best to prepare and how to avoid any potential stumbling blocks. Luckily for you, we’ve put together our top five tips to help you get the most out of your first 5km race.
1. Prepare for it
Outfit, shoes and a killer playlist. Be organised, get everything ready the night before from your outfit to your music playlist to keep you motivated as the race gets harder. Just a tip, make sure you wear comfortable clothes and beware, race day is not the day to wear a new pair of trainers.
2. Fuel it up
Drink little and often prior to the race and aim to eat about two hours prior to the race. Keep it simple – a bowl of porridge with dried fruit, a sports bar, a bagel with peanut butter. Also, make sure it’s food you know your stomach can digest. Don’t try anything new.
3. Get there early
There’s a lot to be done on race morning including parking, packet pick-up, waiting in line for the restroom, warming up. Arrive at the race site at least an hour before the start – knowing where you can park, what time packet pick-up closes (if you couldn’t do it the day before) and where to go for the starting line.
4. Warm up and get in line
Most 5km races will offer a group lead warm up on the day, but make sure you do your own set of mobility and warm up exercises. Lining up in the middle or the back of the pack is safest for most beginners. This allows you to start with those around your pace, with many more ahead of you to chase down.
5. Pace Yourself
Start slow and if you feel good pick up the pace later, don’t worry about the time. Enjoy the race and when things get tough just give yourself a pep talk and keep saying “I can do this”
Celebrate every finish.
You only get to run your first 5km once. Take it all in, run for the finish rather than the watch, and celebrate your accomplishment. You’ve earned it.
There are plenty of running apps on the market to help you get through your training, try Couch to 5k (hyperlink) or see one of our Fitness Motivators in your club.