To help you with your pre-race preparation I have compiled a check list for and if you do all these, I can assure you that you will run your 5k with ease and enjoy the run.
So, let’s get started – the race preparation needs to start a few days before your race day.
Fours Day Before
Start with a dress rehearsal, decide on your running outfit, remember once you start running your body temperature increases so go for layers, then you can easily peel them off if you feel to warm. A good tip is to dress as if the temperature is 10 degrees high (as your body will increases its core temperate approximate by this amount. Head out and do a run, ensuring all your clothing is comfortable.
Start checking the weather forecast for your race day.
.Couple of Days Before
Aim to drink 8 glasses of water a from now until at least a few days after your race day. By drinking this each day, you will be getting your body fully hydrated which is super important as this is going to help fuel your body on the race day.
Eat a healthy diet (but avoid trying any new foods) a good rule of thumb is to have a slightly higher amount of carbs, as these supply your body with the required energy you will need during the race. If you’re going for pasta or rice then choose the healthiest versions, i.e., brown, or wholemeal.
Aim to get a good night’s sleep, don’t change your routine too much as this can mean you wake up to early, instead aim to be in bed and lights out 30 minutes earlier than normal.
The Morning of the Race
So, you won’t want a big breakfast and you may well have an early start. However, a good idea is to have a pre-race snack to hand if you need it and this can be a banana or a few nuts and raisins. Don’t forget your water bottle and watch/fitness tracker if you wear one.
15 Minutes before the Race
Even if a group warm up is organised, give yourself a warmup. You can do this by taking a quick brisk walk, this will be warming up your muscles and preparing your joints and body for the run ahead along with calming your mind and helping you focus on the race ahead.
3,2, and 1 and you are off. The key now is not to go to fast, as tempting as it is to sprint to stay at the front, you should try and avoid this. Think of the long-term goal which is to finish the race so for the first part of the race go at a steady speed then when you have the last 1k left of the race then if you have the energy you can go for gold and pick up your pace.
Crossing the Finish Line
As you take that step over the finish line you need to be super proud of what you have achieved, celebrate that achievement and how you have just taken a huge step (well several) in looking after your physical and mental health.
Don’t forget to do some gentle stretching after the race, this will help ensure that your muscles don’t tighten up, have a soak in the bath will also help. Plus, don’t forget to drink those 8 glasses of water for at least the next few days too.