Training for a race can take weeks and while every week of training is very important there are details of the last days before race day that are super important. Check out some last minute tips for running a 5K from some Fit2Run seasoned runners to ensure you have not just a good race, but a great race!
#1 WARM UP
Warm up at least half a mile, or a couple minutes before taking your spot at the race start. It is not a good idea to start running on cold muscles for many reasons but most importantly, it can lead to injury. Also, getting the muscles a little warm before will get your endorphins pumping to help you through the race.
#2 PACE YOURSELF
Do not start at your fastest speed from the get go. Your starting pace should be about the average pace you expect to go throughout the entire distance. Use the distance ahead to build up your speed and store some power to get to that finish line running strong and fast.
#3 ENJOY YOUR RACE
Strive to enjoy your race, not beat the clock. Do not put pressure on yourself to finish better than anyone else, enjoy your own race. While it’s great to have a goal finish time in mind, don’t let it be the only thing you think about and make sure to enjoy the experience of the race as a whole.
Start hydrating regularly on the days leading up to the race, not just the day of. Hydrating regularly is always a good idea but when you know you have a race in your upcoming schedule make sure you stick to hydrating a little extra. If you’re struggling to up your water intake, try using flavored electrolyte tabs from brands like NUUN to help you boost up that hydration in a shorter amount of time.
#5 BE SURE TO STRETCH
Make sure in your warm up AND cool down you include a little stretching. Even simple stretches like over the head tricep stretches, cross arm stretch, and lateral leg swings will help shake out your muscles pre and post run. Plus it will help calm some possible race day jitters if you’re feeling a little anxious before the race starts.
#6 FUEL YOUR BODY
Use nutrition to give your body the extra boost it needs for that competitive edge you’re looking for on race day. Runner nutrition is specifically made to help support your body through tougher exercises and workouts made up of ingredients like carbohydrates, electrolytes, and amino acids so your body feels comfortable through the miles ahead. Some nutrition even comes with some caffeine if you need just a little more boost especially for the early morning races.
#7 REST, REST, REST
Rest up. One of the best ways to prepare for any race and one that we seem to deny the most is sleep. Sleep can not only help with your morning energy but helps your muscles rest up to be in tip top shape to run your race. Sleep allows your muscles time to recover and repair cellular and tissue damage from strenuous exercise plus helps invigorate muscle growth.
#8 BE PROUD OF WHAT YOU ACCOMPLISHED
Celebrate! Whether you’ve completed your first 5K or beat your PR, celebrate the fact that you did it! Wear your medal with pride, share pictures, and enjoy that feeling of accomplishment. Take pride in the fact that you ran a 5K, it’s something worth celebrating!
YOU GOT THIS!
Need some advice on training for a 5K, check out our free 5K Training Guide to help you get from 0 to 5K in just 4 weeks! Share your running stories with our Fit Experts in stores or on social @fit2run_therunnerssuperstore because Fit2Run is here to cheer you on every step of the way.