Basic Tips on Running a 5K Race
So you have been training hard in preparation for running in a 5k race. You have run a few before and now you want to up your performance and results. Here are a few things to keep in mind that ...
So you have been training hard in preparation for running in a 5k race. You have run a few before and now you want to up your performance and results. Here are a few things to keep in mind that will help you improve your 5k running and your race times.
First of all. Don not over train yourself. You are running 5K and there’s not point in conditioning your body to run 7 or 8k. At the most run an extra kilometer to build up your stamina and energy reserves. Start building up to this a few weeks before the race – not 3 days ahead of time!
Do not change your training system at the last minute to accommodate what you think may be the demands of the race. Any changes should be implemented at least 3 or 4 weeks before the race or you may find the last minute changes, which your body has not had time to adapt to, are having a negative affect on your performance.
At the start of the race you will find a lot of beginners starting out like they are doing a 100 meter sprint. You know better so let them rush off and burn themselves out. Stick to your own pace and avoid the temptation of trying to keep up with the pros out in front. That is not the kind of runner you are or have trained to be, so don’t even try.
Once you have settled into your own pace, you will either find yourself among a pack of similarly skilled runners or see one near you. Stay with the pack unless you find as the race progresses that it is slowing you down, in which case move ahead. Do not get boxed in by the pack, try and stay on the fringes of it.
There will come a time in the race when you have to make your move an break away from the pack. When it is depends on the type of runner you are, strong in the second half, a sprinter to the finish, or anything else. Once you decide its time to step on the gas, make your move and don’t look back. Run your own race.
If you see someone making a break before you do, avoid the temptation of trying to keep up with him, unless you are sure you can. He may be younger or stronger than you and you will burn out trying to keep up with him. Or he may have made a mistake and you will end up paying the price for it.
Finding your own pace and stride in the beginning of the race is tough, especially when there are hundreds of people all around you. Be patient – the crowd will thin out soon enough and that is the time to settle down to your normal 5k running speed and style.
Finishing a 5k race is an achievement. Finishing high up among the runners is a great bonus. But remember what you are running for – fun and fitness and don’t let the desire to beat a lot of other runner deprive you of that.
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