More than 7 million people participated in a 5K in 2015, according to runningusa.org. If you’ve officially signed up for your first 5K, you might not be sure what to expect. It’s not as challenging as you think it will be. Here are a few ways that you can make the most of your time before, during, and after race day.
Get Enough Rest
Being tired on race day could affect your performance. If you’re feeling nervous about your first race, know that it’s completely normal to feel that way. Take the day before the race off to help your body rest up.
Eat a Good Breakfast
You’ll want to eat a simple, high-energy breakfast like yogurt or oatmeal with fruit. Also take this time to drink plenty of water, especially if the weather is expected to be hot. If you normally drink coffee, you’re OK to have a cup with breakfast.
Try to get to the race site about 60 minutes before it begins. You’ll want to leave plenty of time to find parking, use the restroom, and warm up. For large 5K races, you may also want to check out some vendors that are there and what products they offer.
Know that You’ll Feel Tired During the Race
Don’t use up all your energy at the start. You’ll want to save up your energy for the second half of your race. If you start to feel tired, think to yourself that you can do it. Positive thinking can help you stay focused on making it to the finish line.
Once you hit the finish line, you might feel a “runner’s high.” If you enjoyed the 5K, sign up for another one in a few months. You can then create new goals based on your performance.
Best of luck on your first race!