Tips For The Newbie
Signing up for 5k races puts your training program to the test. I will let you know what you will need to take along with you, and provide tips for the beginner racer. Nothing wrong with being a newbie, you just don't have to look like one.
5k races give you a target date for your top performance. Just like the Olympic athlete wants to peak during her Olympic event, you will target your training program towards your race date.
When you sign-up you gain a sense of purpose to your training above the benefits of jogging. You get that extra push to get your jog into your schedule. Consider running a 5k as an adventure. You get to meet like-minded folks.
The amazing thing is that everyone gets cheers. I mean, here is an event where you will find the winners sticking around to cheer on finishers that came later. Sometimes the last person finishing gets bigger cheers than the first. There are more runners around to see the last than the first.
Tips For Success in 5k Races
- Run your own race. It is so easy to be pulled into the excitement of the event. You need to run your own pace. Going out too fast is the biggest newbie mistake probably made by all of us at one time or another.
- Run the first half slower than the second. This means that you are going out slower. Then picking up your pace after the first mile. This tip allows you to have a stronger finish at the end.
- The starting line is a staggered line-up. The fastest runners line-up at the front. If your pace is 10 min/mile pace, take your place nearer to the back. Walkers are right at the back.
- Allow faster runners to pass. One way or another they will pass you anyway, so step aside. There is no point in being the bottleneck of the race holding back other runners.
- You run light, right? See proper running technique.
Other racers may not hear you approaching. Let’s not startle them. Warn them so they don’t step out in front you. Use, “Passing on the left,” when passing. They will move over for you.
- Pick up your race kit on time. It will contain your race number, chip timer (if used), plus goodies from sponsors. Allow time for line-ups.
- Affix your race number on the front of your shirt. You will be announced as you cross the finish line in many 5ks.
- Thank the 5k race volunteers as you pass. It takes a whole crew to put together a successful race.
- Light refreshments are available after the race for racers. Slower joggers should take a snack with them. Sorry, but sometimes they do run out and you will want to eat.
- Attend the awards ceremony. Sometimes this is very informal with everyone standing around at the end of the race. Sometimes it is done up into a party. My favorites are when they have the ceremony at a local restaurant bar where family and friends can attend and you get to eat. Getting an age group award is better when others are around to share this with you.
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