It is important to run a few of the local 5K’s and 10K’s as you prepare for the your event. You can’t expect to do your best if you haven’t had a few practice races. Athletes have their best runs at the end of the season, because there is so much to be learned and experienced before you are comfortable with running in races. Also, races are going to be one of your best workouts. They are a great steady state run. The following is a list of things that you need to know and do to run your best:
- Eating right the day before and the morning of
- Getting up early enough race morning to feel alert at race time
- Resting enough to feel good race morning
- Getting used to the asphalt roads
- Getting used to the crowds at the start
- Using a port-a-potty
- Remembering your race number
- What to do with your extra clothes after you have heated up
- Knowing your own pace as the race starts
- Practicing drinking water on the run
- Getting to know your mile splits to determine if you are on pace
- Finding out if you went out to fast
- Figuring out how to correct it if you did
It is exciting to see new runners go into events with the excitement and fear of the unknown and have it turn into confidence as they become experienced. I would recommend that you participate in two 5k runs and one 10k run before your goal race.
Make sure you keep the flyer or brochure to the event when you register so have all the pertinent information when you start driving to the event bright and early on a Saturday or Sunday Morning.
Get to the race about an hour before start time. When you get to the race site, look for the bathrooms right away, don’t wait for the long lines to form. This can be very stressful, as you can imagine. You will need to have your race number pinned on the front of your shirt. Make sure you get a drink of water before the start. Double tie your shoe laces. Go for an easy 1 mile jog, possibly on the first part of the course then come back and stretch easy.
Make sure that you look at a course map so you are comfortable where you are running. Don’t line up in the front of the pack, get somewhere in the middle to back. This will help you start at an easy pace. In a large race you may have to stand around for about 5 -10 minutes before you actually start running so you will want to use the first half mile to loosen up again.
If you have a running watch, make sure you start it when the horn blows. Then get your mile splits so you can see if you ran a consistent pace or not. When you finish, stop your watch. When you get back home, put your splits and overall time in your running log.
Take time to get water on the course and don’t be concerned if you stop and walk while getting your drink. This will ensure you get enough water and the rest will do you good. Also, pinch the cup before you drink it, you will spill less. As the race goes along, expect to have to try harder to keep the same pace. So, if you have gone out too fast, walk or run easy long enough to get comfortable, then get back into your goal pace.
At the finish line, you will expect someone to be reaching at you. Don’t be concerned, they are just trying to get your race number’s tear tag off of you to give you an official time. If you can think about it, tear it off as you are walking down the chute. After you have finished getting out of the chutes, walk around for about 10 minutes, or jog if you feel good enough then sit down and stretch. This will reduce your soreness the next day. Also, if they are offering massage at the finish line, take them up on it.
I promise you that these events are a lot of fun and you will feel like a true champion if you participate. The biggest benefit will be your experience going into the goal event which is the biggest event of them all. Get good at smaller events so you will be prepared for the big one.
|Week 7||Walkers||First Timers||Runners|
|Tuesday||(4min easy/4 min @ date pace) X 5||10 min warm up, (5 min run at date pace / 2 min rest) x 3||10 min easy warm up then (5 min @ date pace/2 min rest)x4 10 min cool down jog|
|Wednesday||45 min easy walk||45 min walk or easy jog||45 min recovery runt|
|Thursday||10 min warm up, 10 min hard, 10 min cool down walk||10 min warm up 2 min hard/2 min easy x 5 10 min cooldown||15 min warm up
(2 min hard/2 min easy) X 6
|Saturday||45 min steady state or 5K event||30 minute steady state or 5K event||5K event or 30 min steady state|