Friday, June 21, 2013

Fitness Friday: First Race Tips

As you have heard, my first 5K run is coming up in just over 2 weeks.  So I asked some friends out in the blogosphere for ideas for my first race. Here are some of the tips I received from Sweat Pink Ambassadors and My Fitness Pal.



  • Don't wear new clothes/shoes and don't try anything new the day of the race! You don't want issues on race day 

Jonette from This Princess Runs 

  • Work on intervals it's a great way to start. Slow is ok. ,
  • Find clothes you are comfortable in. 
  • Don't be afraid to exercise in public/ focus on you and not what other people think. 
  • Listen to your body. 
  • Ice as needed!!!! 
  • Stretch out well to prevent injuries 

Steffi from Almost Healthy Life 

  • During: SMILE! It helps to fight through those majorly painful moments. 

sad54 (MFP) 

  • Don't try to take off too fast at the race - just because everyone else is.

grimendale (MFP)

  • You won't be in first place, but you probably won't be in last either. 
  • Find a comfortable pace and stick to it (preferably close to what you train at). 
  • You'll have an impulse to sprint early on, but that isn't sustainable and will just tire you out early. 
  • Remember that you've already done this distance, so you know you can, regardless of what those traitors you call legs tell you. 
  • Runners tend to be a friendly and helpful bunch, particularly on races, so feel free to ask for encouragement from those around you if you need it - you'll get it. 
  • Lastly, have fun and embrace the runner's high (I didn't feel it until my first 5k). 

MisterDerping (MFP)

  • Start out pretty slow and steady. 
  • After the second mile was when I would pick up the pace a little bit. 
  • Once the finish line is close just bolt it.

Cyclingbonnie (MFP)
  • When I got to that point that I just couldn't keep running all the time. I would run for a 100 right foot strikes, and walk 25 right foot strikes. The counting actually took my mind off my legs and forced me to breathe better. Yes I counted out loud. Something I learned when I was in the military. The reason you sing cadence while running in formation is not just to mark the pace it is to force the troops to breathe properly.


Before race day: 
  • Pick up your packet! It's SO much easier to not have to figure out logistics of getting your packet/shirt back to your car after you pick it up on race day. Pick it up before hand if at all possible. 
  • Get a feeling for the course. 
  • Get sleep the entire week before! 
  • Same goes with water. (Drink lots the week before the race).
  • If you're worried about being last place try looking at the results from the year before. 
  • Figure out where parking is located so you're not scrambling to find it the morning of! 
  • The night before...try *try!* to get as much sleep as possible. 
  • Make sure you know where the start is! 
  • Go for at least one run in the outfit (down to underwear/bra/socks) that you're planning on wearing. Make sure it's not going to chafe or annoy you on race day! 
  • Eat something light! 
  • Get there early! 
  • Soak up the race atmosphere!! 
  • Aim for the middle-back of the pack. Try not to get stuck in the back...but try not to get too close to the front.. You'll be swept out at a pace you totally don't want to start at! 
  • My favorite quote: Run when you can, walk when you have to, just never give up! 
  • Try not to let the race atmosphere sweep you up in the beginning. You're going to have so much adrenaline, but don't let it take you out too fast so you're struggling to keep up a good pace in the middle/end. 
  • If you have to take walk breaks move over to the side , try not to stop in the middle of the road.
  • Just have fun!! Enjoy the race atmosphere! 
  • Even if you're last, enjoy it! Smile big and Cross the finish line with a huge smile because you did it!! 

  • Sign up for another!!!!
Do you have any tips to add?


  1. These are all excellent tips!!! Wow...I honestly can't think of one to add. But I do love the one that told you to smile through the race because I have found that helps me tremendously!!! You probably won't be able to control your smile anyway because these will be the most exciting 3 miles of your life. So excited for you!!!! Good luck sweetie and thanks for linking up again!!

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  2. Great tips! I am definitely of the "SMILE!" camp. I want to look good in my race pictures!!!

  3. Good tips! I will take those into consideration with my 5K in a few weeks

  4. Lots of great ideas and I also like the comment about smiling :) It's getting closer, good luck.

  5. These are great ideas! Even if you forget to do half of them, I think taking the have fun and smile as you cross the finish are the two most important in a 5k or any race:) 5k's are a lot of fun, I am wishing you a great fun race!!!!

  6. Great tips, my tips are to eat exactly what you have before training runs, wear what you've wore. SOak up the atmosphere and have fun :)

  7. My biggest tip - HAVE FUN! :-D

  8. The anticipation of your first is so exciting! Your list and the comments pretty much have the first race tips covered. I would add trust your training and enjoy the run! I can't wait to hear all about it.

  9. for a 5km race, you don't need to carb load, just eat what you normally eat.
    Before the start, take a moment and just breath, enjoy the race and don't let nerves get the best of you.

  10. Summer is coming, bikini bought, so all you Alex need now is to do 8 minutes a day of AB exercises.

  11. Are you going to wear music? I have a special set with uplifting music that (if I wanted to) I could sing along with. Then I am not thinking about the distance.

    Pee, pee, pee - even if you do not think that you need to - go within 10 minutes of the start time. You will regret it if you don't.

    Dress for warm weather - you will overheat even if it is 40 outside

    I carry two saltines with me - sometimes the stress of doing it will upset your tummy

    When you are finished, walk around for a while. Then get some water - room temperature is much easier on the tummy than cold water.

    I always laugh when I see the bagel and cream cheese or donuts waiting at the end. Duh!

    I find someone who is running close to my pace and follow. Then I think it is just the two of us and I have a partner

    Watch out for the idiots who run with their baby strollers or dogs. They will always straggle over and get in your way.

    Save those Bibs!!! I use glue dots to post them on my wall.

    I tell everyone that I entered because I need the new t-shirts (LOL)

    You will receive a monitor to attach to your shoe - attach it securely or it will flap and annoy you

    One 5k = free serving of a 12 oz Pepsi (I am SURE that I read that somewhere).

    Good Luck

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