My First 5K - Well Maybe

Monday, April 12, 2010

OK, I am doing the C25K training program but I am still in week 3. However, I noticed a flier for a 5K race where I live so I thought why not sign up. I have been wanting to run a 5K so why not go for it. Why not go for it - because I am no where near ready to run a 5K!!! Oh well, the form is in the mail and I will be receiving it in a day or so and returning it when I do. I will officially be signed up for my first 5K run. The next day I will be walking 3 miles (another 5K) to benefit the March of Dimes. What was I thinking?!?

So for all you seasoned, veteran runners out there what do I need to do in the next 2 weeks to prepare for the run on the 24th? What do I need to eat? What should I do the week of the run, the day before, the morning of the run? Should I go all out at the beginning and then walk when I completely run out of steam or should I start out slow and maybe, by some miracle, be able to run the whole thing, or at least maybe be able to run farther than if I start out fast. Right now my running pace isn't much faster than my walking pace but I would like to get a better time than when I walked a 5K about a month ago.

Also, when you run does the feeling of sucking air ever go away, and if so when? Is there anything I can do to help improve my lung function so I don't feel like I am sucking air all the time?

Any help, ideas, thoughts, suggestions that you have that might help a "newbie" would be greatly appreciated.

I know 2 things that a lot of you will probably tell me and that is keep practicing and have fun so I will keep doing the first and try to do the second on race day.

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  • no profile photo CD1276095
    Do what seems natural. Many runners get caught up in the excitment of the race and start to fast. They tend to not be enjoying themselves at the end. I prefer to start a little slower and finish with a smile. It doesn't matter where you come in, you will find supportive people all along the course. I've finished dead last twice now, and still had a standing ovation when I crossed the line.

    One suggestion - lay out your clothes & stuff the night before the race. Tshirt, sports bra, shorts, socks, shoes, hydration belt, iPod, Garmin - what ever you take on your runs - have it laying out and ready. And don't forget to pin your number on your shirt.

    As for what to eat - eat what ever you normally eat before a run. I like a bagel & some yogurt, but some folks don't do dairy.

    Most important - have a good time. Smile at the other runners, say hello to the volunteers. Enjoy the day!!
    3644 days ago
    Do you have to run the entire thing. Why not walk and run. Good luck
    3644 days ago
  • NANC304
    No suggestions but lots of luck being sent your way!
    3644 days ago
    ATP - just stick to the C25K training you are doing now. Be sure to keep stretching, that your shoes are still good (to avoid shin splints) and on the day of the race - arrive early, have eaten a light breakfast, pack a snack/lunch for afterwards and HAVE FUN!

    If rain is predicted, bring a garbage bag, cut out holes for your arms and run in that over your clothes. If the weather seems cold in the morning, wear layers as you will need to pull off the top due to getting warmed up rather quickly.

    Personally, if you can't run or jog the entire race, I would alternate. Jog/run as long as you can then walk. Once you regain your breath, jog/run again. Studies have shown this may be a better training strategy then running he entire way and getting too tired.

    Also, if it is a well run race they will take your photo as you come near the finish line so SMILE!!!

    3644 days ago
    I walked my first 5k last year, this year I am signed up for a race in June, which I plan to run. I'm also doing c25k, I should be finished just in time.
    All I can suggest to you is to do the race in intervals, remember there is no shame in walking at all. If you are going to try to run the whole thing remember to take it slow, slower than you think you need to, drink plenty of water & remember to stretch a lot, before & after.
    3644 days ago
    Thanks for all your comments so far. I think I will start slow and try to finish. Yes finishing is the most important part. The time will come later as I get better and continue to lose weight.

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    3644 days ago
    Not being seasoned or a veteran nor having any desire to run a race, I can't help too much with the racing advice (do you belong to a running team here at spark??? there are a couple of good ones.) I also believe the coolrunnings site probably has some tips too.
    If I was going to run my first race in 2 weeks, I would simply be looking to finish it. One thing a lot of the sites warn you about is starting out a race too fast, and it could set you up for injury/cramping, so I'd lean towards finding and settling into a fairly comfortable pace so that I'd have the energy to make that last least to me, finishing would be way more important than how fast.
    As far as the sucking wind, it might be that you're just running a little too fast, or try shortening your stride/not lifting your feet quite as least that helps with me. Best part of running for me is, since I'm not going into it to compete, I'm not quite as worried over time, so I just find the pace that seems to be most beneficial to me. That's becoming less and less of a problem..though I still have days when nothing comes together for me including the breathing.
    3644 days ago
    Im on week 6. I signed up for the Disney 5k. I still have a lot of time before I have to stress about the little things. Let us know how it went
    3644 days ago
  • GLORY777
    Good for you for signing up! I have to confess I am not a runner and so can't help with any practical advice - but I think the C25K site probably has some good stuff on it about things like that. Anyway, great job signing yourself and giving yourself a real goal - I know you will achieve it!!! emoticon
    3644 days ago
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