10 5k Running Tips
The most popular races are 5ks, so you should learn these 10 5k running tips. A 5k--3.1 miles--is considered a "distance" race and it is an ideal distance for your first running race.
- Make sure you are prepared. Training for a 5k takes approximately two to three months if you are a beginner. If you have already done some 5ks, your goal might be to improve your time. You should practice running at your desired race speed, also called a "tempo run," once a week.
- Realize that running a 5k and racing a 5k are different. If you are new to 5k running, you should know that the adrenaline at the starting line can be as exhausting as the run. Don't be surprised if your race time is a little slower than when you run by yourself.
- Don't go out too fast. A vital component of 5k running is the ability to pace yourself. Three miles can feel like a marathon if you go out too fast. People will almost assuredly be in front of you. Don't try to go out with them. Instead, have the goal of running the last mile faster than the first.
- Practice good turnover. Many 5k courses are on difficult terrain, such as a trail or a golf course. In order to get used to this uneven ground, you should practice drills that will increase your turnover. Try running downhill one a week. Do exercises that increase your balance, like lunges or planks.
- Find someone who runs at your pace. If you can, run with a friend. You can keep each other on pace and avoid the temptation to go out too fast.
- Have fun. Resist the urge to get too competitive and have fun. Most 5k road races are designed to be fun races. Because there are so many participants, you will beat a lot of other runners without even trying.
Think positive thoughts. Your brain and body are so interconnected that if you think about how uncomfortable the 5k is, you can actually feel more pain than there is. Think about how you will feel after the race. Remember your motivation for running a 5k, whether is is to just get to the finish line or beat a personal record.
- Practice good form. If you cannot maintain proper running form, you are going too fast. Think about running on top of the ground rather than into it. Don't let your hands go behind your hips.
- Focus on what is in front of you. Whatever you do, don't think about how far you have to go. Don't think about what is behind you either. Focus on the race in the moment and maintaining your speed and form.
- Sprint or stride to the finish line. Once you see the finish line, you should speed up (if you can). You can either sprint or stride. Run through the finish line, don't stop before. It is good practice to run through the finish without slowing down.
Posted on: Aug. 18, 2010