5 Tips For Running A 5K

You’re not just participating in the Run For Rwanda… you are RUNNING the Run For Rwanda! If you’re new to the world of racing, we’re here to help. Here are 5 tips to make your race day successful!

1) Don’t Dress To Impress: By that we mean, race day is not the time to debut new shoes or a new outfit. You don’t want to be uncomfortable, or worse, in pain. A great idea is to pick an outfit you wore during an awesome training run – it’s a physical reminder of how well you can do.

Do dress as if the weather is 15 degrees warmer than it is. That’s how much you’ll warm up once you start running. Do set out what you plan to wear the night before. That means, picking up your racing bib and t-shirt in advance. Run For Rwanda participants can do that on Friday, October 18th at 9:00am – 5:00pm at Liquid Church (map here)

2) Eat Light & Hydrate: Don’t carboload the night before the race. That giant plate of pasta will only leave you bloated and lethargic. And, on race morning, it’s a good idea to eat the same breakfast you’ve practiced in training. Eat about 2 hours (or more) prior to the race. Keep it simple – a bowl of oatmeal with dried fruit, a sports bar, or bagel with peanut butter. 

Of course, you want to stay hydrated on race day and in the days leading up to the race. On the morning of the race, drink 16 ounces of water two to three hours before the start, giving your body time to process extra fluid. Then, drink another one to two cups right before the start. (additional tips)

3) Be The Early Bird & Be Stress Free: Be kind to yourself and arrive early – an hour early. You don’t want the race to start while you’re parking the car or in the bathroom. There are already enough nerves! This allows time for you to run to the potty several times, find the start / finish line, and ease into the moment. It also gives you time for tip #4…

4) Warm Up. This Isn’t The Time To Cut Corners: There are a lot of warm up routines out there, and most take at least 30 minutes. One routine could have you walking for 5 minutes, jogging for 5 minutes, and repeat. Or, you might want to consider a warm up with dynamic stretches and drills (like this). Find a warm up that appeals to you and then finally, calmly walk to the starting line.

5) Don’t Go To The Front Of The Line: If this is your first rodeo, the start of the line is not the place for you! Standing too close to the front of the line can cause a crash and burn moment early in the race. That is, you get caught running at everyone else’s pace and have the half-mile of your life. BUT… the other 2.6 miles won’t be so wonderful! It will be easier to fall into your pace if you’re around people that are the same speed as you.

Following these 5 tips will help you have a successful 5K. Just remember to have FUN while you do it!