Monday, May 11, 2009

5K Tips From the Pros

By "pros" I totally mean you guys! A lot of you gave some great tips a couple of days ago when I asked you to tell me some of your best advice for running a 5k. I will be running my first 5K in June (I have only ever ran 1oks) and Emily and Sam will be as well. So we all appreciate the tips! Also, for those of you who don't know, and I'm sure most of you do, Runner's World is a great website and one that I read frequently for advice and articles about just about anything you could think of involving running. So here we go...



Everyone is different, everyone has special needs when it comes to their running shoes. I know for me, a new pair of shoes made all of the difference in my running. Finding just the right shoe will lower your risk of injury and just plain make you feel better when you run. Many sports stores will have people and tools on hand to find you the perfect shoe. Take advantage of this! Check out this article for more info on finding the right shoe for your foot.


To avoid being stressed and rushed in the morning, you should go ahead and lay out your entire outfit (plus anything else you will need) the night before. Amy gives some good advice by saying that you should consider something different than the race shirt that they provide and I agree. Something that you know will be comfortable, fit you perfectly, and feel good on is what you should plan to wear. Also don't forget to make sure that what your wear won't get too hot (or cold) and won't cause any other major malfunctions during the race.


Of course getting good sleep is important for anything. And it is especially true for the night before running a race. To make sure that you run your best and that you are as alert and energetic as possible for the race you should take it easy the night before. Plan to take a rest day from training to prepare your muscles for the run the next day and get in bed early to ensure the right amount of sleep before the race.


What you choose to eat before the race is going to be your fuel for when you run. Because of that, it is important that you fuel up properly. Exactly what to eat is completely up to you. Find what it right for you and what you think gives you the most boost in the morning. Carbs are always good before a race. My race morning breakfast of choice is just toast with peanut butter and banana. Check out THIS article on the top 15 foods for runners to get some ideas that may work for you!


Staying hydrated is a really important thing to consider when you are running ANYTIME and especially for a race. Make sure you drink plenty of water before hand. 5K races will not typically have "water stops", so it will be important to make sure you drink enough before you start running and that you will have water on hand after the race is over.


This is another thing to do to avoid being rushed and stressed on race day, which can cause you to not run your best. Arrive at the race with plenty of time to get your number, find out where the start and finish are, and to check over the course. Also arriving early allows for time for #7...


Stretching and warming-up before the race is SO important to avoid injury. A lot of people will get so hyped up about starting the race that they will forget these two things all together. Again, this is totally customized and will vary from person to person. Know your "trouble zones" and make sure you stretch properly for those. Also know your limits...don't do so much of a warm-up that you are ready to give out before the race...but don't do so little that you jet out at the start of the race. HERE is an article about some stretching and warm-up routines that may work for you.


This is one of the most common mistakes that first time runners make. When you are at the start of the race you just want to jet out in front as fast as you can. But this can leave you worn down after the first mile. Now your pace and keep it...even from the start. Unless you are my man Ryan Hall and can run the mile in under 4 minutes, there is no need to sprint at the start. You may see other people doing it, but believe me, you will be passing up those people later when they have given out and you are holding steady!


If you have been keeping up a nice steady pace and are not too tired by the end, you will be able to finish strong. This is where you will pace all those people who are just too tired to work harder. Again, KNOW YOUR BODY! If you are on the last half mile and you feel like you can do it...full on run that thing. Even the last quarter mile...just finishing strong in the last little bit will shave off tons of seconds in your final time.


Whether its your first race or your five hundredth race. Have fun with it. Remember why you wanted to run in the first place. TO HAVE FUN AND FEEL GOOD...not to stress and worry about times and things like that. Don't worry about your time, your place, or the other runners around you. DO IT FOR YOU and have a BLAST!!

I really hope that this helped some of you girls...I know that it helped me a lot and I had a lot of fun getting tips from you guys, researching some tips, and writing this for you! Any questions are comments feel free to e-mail me!

Hope everyone is having a great Monday!

Lots of Love <3 Ems.


Mica said...

Those are all good, fool-proof tips, though I'm wary to eat much before any race...particularly a 5K. I had a kashi bar about an hour before, and I could feel it in my stomach during each of the 5 K's.

itsawrapteacher said...

My mom decided yesterday to make a goal for ourselves and sign up for a 5K for the end of the summer. She is trying to get in shape and I have always wanted to at least try. Great tips and good timing!

Meg said...

This is awesome Emily! Thanks for putting it all together!

Have a wonderful start to your week!

Love always,

ellie said...

great tips! I don't run but have been thinking of starting...any tips for a complete nOOb who can only just run for he bus? :P

Anonymous said...

Thanks Emily!!!
I hope you had a great weekend

Erica said...

Great tips! I agree toooo much with having the right shoes for any kind of activity!! Makes a huge difference :)

Amy said...

Great tips, Em ;) You sound like a pro yourself! :)

Jenny said...

mmmm well considering i am not a runner by any means.. i def. don't have much input for this post but ..umm.. IM IN LOVE WITH YOU :)

Jen said...

Thanks for collecting all of these super useful tips! I have yet to run a 5K, so I'll keep these in mind when I do. ;)

Anonymous said...

Great tips :) I agree with you about Runner's World - I used to subscribe to their magazine too, it's a really good resource. Tip #10 is definitely the most important in 5K races ;) over here in the UK I try and enter the 'race for life' every year, and that's just amazing fun.

Kristi @ Sweet Cheeks said...

I love this! Thanks for posting this..I am training for a 5k in June so this will help me a lot!

Bec said...

love the tips!

Brooke (HomegirlCanEat) said...

I love this little postypost my dear! I espec enjoyed the what to eat part for runners. I used to just wakeup and go run but then I started waking up a tad earlier, eating a little breakfast, and my runs improved SO MUCH!

GOOD LUCK! You will do amazing when the race comes!

Stef said...

I haven't run in forevs, but I'm hoping to get "into" running sometime in the near future! I'll definitely be referencing these tips :)

Hope your training is going well!

Baylee♥ said...

This is awesome girl!

Love you!