Get there early: Make sure you have time to arrive, use the port-a-potty, pick up your race packet, take it back to the car, and use the port-a-potty again. Yup, that’s right, use it twice. (Arriving an hour before start time should be enough time).
Don’t try anything new: I mean anything!
- New clothes: I know, I know, you just bought a cute new running skirt and you cant wait to wear it. Well, let me just tell you, there is nothing cute about running down the street constantly pulling the skirts under shorts out of your crotch! Think of the race photos…just don’t do it! There is also noting cute about the chaffing that will inevitably occur. If you haven’t trained in it, don’t wear it race day.
- New Food: Go with what you know! If you have eaten a peanut butter sandwich before every training run, put down the oatmeal your friend likes to eat before a race and eat a peanut butter sandwich. The same rule applies to the race course fuel. If they are serving gatorade and you have not trained with it, take the water instead. The last thing you want to be doing at your first 5k is frantically looking for a port-a-potty.
Trust your training: You have been training with run 1 minute/walk 1 minute intervals, the race gun goes off and everyone starts to run. You get caught up in the moment and want to run with everyone else. Thoughts like “I can run just a little while longer” and “I don’t want to look lazy because I am taking a walk break” start running through your head. Eventually you tire out and have to walk about a half mile in and by mile 2 you feel like you are going to die. You somehow manage to get yourself across the finish line and vow never to run again. Seems sill huh? Stick with your plan. By mile 2 you will most likely be passing others who did not stick to their plans and even better, you will finish strong and feel accomplished!
Have fun: Why did you sign up in the first place? To run for a cause? To run with friends? The most important thing come race day is to remember why you are out there and enjoy yourself and have a good time. Don’t worry, its your first 5k…no matter how long it takes you, you are going to get a PR…that stands for personal record 🙂 and I promise, nothing looks better than this!