- 27th Sep, 2017
5 Things to Prepare for Your First 5K
5 ways to prepare for your first 5k.
Congrats on committing to your first 5k. Here are a few tips that will make your experience easier and stress free before and on race day.
Pick up your packet before hand
Most races will have packet pickup the day before the race, and I recommend doing that because it gives you one less thing to worry about on race morning. Some races make you pick up the timing chip on race morning, so if that is the case make sure you allow yourself enough time to get to the race, get your chip, and still have 20 to 30 minutes before the race starts to warm up.
Eat a healthy dinner the night before the race
Eat the foods you're used to eating the night before a run. Do not eat anything new because it could cause stomach distress during the race. Also, don't neglect hydration. You need to be hydrated for a race, regardless of the distance, and regardless of the weather.
Do not do anything new or different on race day.
Race day is not the day to break in a new pair of shoes or run in shorts or tops that you have not run in before. If you have new shoes or new apparel you want to race in, make sure you have done several runs in them before race day. Trying something new could lead to blisters, chafing and an overall bad first race.
Get to the race early.
I would suggest 45 minutes to an hour before the race starts. This will allow you to get a good parking spot, along with giving you plenty of time to use the bathroom, warm up, stretch, and mentally prepare for your first race. Lines to the port-o-potties could be long and crowded.
Stretch and warm up.
As the race start approaches, you need to do a light warm-up that includes some dynamic stretching and a walk or light jog for 5 to 10 minutes. Do not stretch cold muscles. Dynamic stretching is better than static stretching before a race because you will warm your muscles up through the dynamic stretching without risk of injury.