So you're ready to run your first 5k, or maybe you've run one before and want to get back into running shape - let's get you started right now so you can run the best race possible.
It all starts with TRAINING! Remember your first day at your current job? I want you to think back, either you had the training (through education or real life experience), or you didn't - if you didn't I'm sure it was one of the rougher days you've had in your career. Running is no different, if you take the time to prepare yourself to perform at your best, you will be happy with your results. Running a 5K race is exciting and can add fun to your workout routine - so what are you waiting for, let's get you going! Here is a printable 7-week training plan that is good for beginners, or runners just getting back into the race scene, https://www.mayoclinic.org/documents/fsm14-5k-run-pdf/doc-20086108
Whew, now that we got that expectation off the table and you're on your training path to success. Let's talk about the actual race! It's normal to have some pre-race jitters or to wonder what exactly to expect during a 5K - here are some DO's & DON'TS!
1. Don't run too hard or too far before the race: There really is no right or wrong answer for this one. Some people prefer to recharge and relax their muscles the day before the race, while others are so wound up with energy and excitement they need an outlet. The rule of thumb here is do what feels right, just don't over do it - if you need to run go for a light 20-minute run the day before the race.
2. Don't carbo-load the night before: You hear about runners consuming a ton of spaghetti or pasta before race day to boost energy during a race. This is absolutely not needed for a 5K race and is meant for longer distance races like Half or Full Marathons. Simply eat a balance normal meal like you normally would, but try and avoid fatty or greasy foods that may lead to gastrointestinal issues.
3. Do eat breakfast: The morning of the race you don't want to stuff yourself, but you also do not want to run on a totally empty stomach. Eating a snack or light meal that is low in fat as well as low in fiber at least 1 hour before the race will give you the energy to perform well. Be sure not to run on a full stomach because this can cause cramping or side stitches during the race.
4. Do get to the race early: Give yourself plenty of time to find your race location, parking, and to grab your bib and packet. Often times this will soothe your nerves and give you a chance to use the bathroom, stretch and warm-up.
5. Do warm-up and stretch: Give yourself time to warm your muscles up and stretch out to be ready to start the race, starting cold can lead to injuries .
6. Don't be that guy: (or gal, but let's face it, guys are more likely to do something this silly) who buys a new pair of shoes the day before the race, wears them during the race, and then complains for the following two weeks about the blisters on his feet.
7. Do Smile: At the end of the day, the 5K race is meant to be a fun, healthy and exciting event. Make sure you thank the race coordinators and volunteers at the aid stations, they've taken time out of their day to cheer you as you run!
I think that about covers it, a 7-week 5K Training Plan and 7 Do's and Don'ts of any race you decide to register for. If you're looking for a fun event to participate in and test out your training and strategy we invite you to participate in the Traveler 5.5K Run & Walk in Union, WA. on April 27, 2019 - to learn more about the race and register visit getmeregistered.com/thetraveler5k and for following our blog make sure you enter the Promo Code: Travelers for 20% off of your entry!