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Running Tips for your First 5K

Updated on June 25, 2012

First time runner practice safety

Running for your first 5k race can be a bit daunting for any new runner. Many people have started running because of its evident health benefits. If you are looking to run your first 5k race, then this is the perfect hub to give you the practical tips to keep in mind. These tips aim to make your first race an enjoyable and injury-free one.

Finishing a race requires adequate physical preparation and training weeks ahead of your actual 5k race. Nevertheless, confidence and mental readiness should also not be far behind. Mental preparedness is equally important because the motivation to finish it will sustain a new runner to get to the finish line despite the body's exhaustion.

Image original with attribution license
Image original with attribution license | Source

Basic Tips in Running

1. Train regularly and incorporate exercise into it.

Stay committed to a fitness program which incorporated core and abs exercises, as well as running and jogs. Make it a point to do this at least thrice a week. This will help in building endurance.

2. Hydrate as much as you can 48 hours before the race (and during the race).

Make sure to be well-hydrated on race day by drinking fluids and water at least 48 hours before hand. Come race day you will have fewer problems relating to thirst since your body is well-hydrated. Despite this preparation, ensure that you drink water at each water station even if you are still not thirsty at that point.

3. Start slow

Starting slow may be against what you have in mind because a new runner's natural thing to do is to try to outrace everyone at the of the race to get a 'headstart'.Starting slow will allow your body to warm-up properly. It will help in pacing yourself to sustain you in the later part of the race. myself and allowed me to run non-stop for the first 4K before I made a 10second walk break. So start slow and build your pace as you pass your first 1K.

4. Mind over matter

Mental preparation will do wonders to sustain you in the last leg of your race, particularly when exhaustion sets in an all you can think about is to stop. Motivate yourself that you will finish the race, even if you have to walk-run, not unless you feel out of breath or simply couldn't go on anymore.

5. Don't focus too much on getting to the finish line faster.

This is your first race and there will always be others to follow. Familiarize yourself with the race route and just have fun running. Congratulate yourself when passing a mile or km marker. By simply taking one km at a time, you get to enjoy experience of running your first 5k which is a feat in itself. Goodluck!


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    • gmmurgirl profile image

      Gei Moore 6 years ago from Philippines

      Hey Steve! Thanks, I'm sure you will definitely step up to that given the proper training sched. I've ran four 10K's in a span of 2 months now. I tried 5K once, it is a totally different experience but also rewarding and fun. Keep running. :)

    • Steve McG profile image

      Steve McG 6 years ago from Palm Bay, FL

      Thanks for the tips. I've only run a few 5k runs, but I want to do a 10k sometime!

    • gmmurgirl profile image

      Gei Moore 6 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Philly! Your time was great for a first-timer! Running on a treadmill is somehow different from one outdoors but you had already a great start. I hope you would go on with your new interest. As a new runner one tends to focus on speed but as you train for longer distances, endurance should be another area you should train for. I hope you've had your proper consultation with the medical professional beforehand though. Thanks!

    • profile image

      Philly 7 years ago

      I just ran 10k for my first time at the gym and I feel great. My time wasn't awesome, but I didn't know how to pace myself for that. I ran it in 51:49 but I think I over-compensated speed for endurance,