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Congrats on your upcoming first 5K! Which one are you doing?
You definitely aren't alone feeling nervous and
at timesdiscouraged about your training. Take it from the Rookie Runners in our Who Wants to Get Active program. Check out their progress, and hopefully it will encourage you these last few weeks leading up to your race.
You also asked about relaxation tips. Being relaxed is key to having a good race. Check out this article on running faster by learning to relax.
Hope that all helps. You will do great. Keep us posted, and good luck!!
I agree with those who said slow down. I didn't do my first 5k til I was 59. I was very nervous. I stuck to my plan of not caring how slow I was, just that I ran the whole thing. It wasn't easy, especially being way in the back - and coming in after many of those run fast then walk alittle people. In hind-sight I am very glad I stuck to the plan it really gave me a feeling of accomplishment and I believe helped me alot in later 5k's. Good Luck! Let us know how you did.
Not sure if anyone mentioned nutrition or stretching. For me I find that eating spaghetti or other carbs and nothing heavy the night prior works. Also, do not try to run in new shoes but use the same ones you have been training with. Enjoy and do NOT attempt to keep up with anyone, this is your race and you need to run it at your pace. Some make the mistake of looking at other participants and thinking they should be able to keep up with them, but looks are sometimes deceiving. Enjoy it and the running bug will get ahold of you for a healthy life style.
GOD and Soldier we adore,
in time of trouble and not before,
when war is won and all things righted,
GODs forgotten and the Soldier slighted.
Since the original post's 5k is long past, I'll reply for all those that logged in in February because they have an upcoming race and are in a similar quandry! First off, never discount the 'adrenaline factor' of being in a race with spectators, fellow competitors, and how much energy the endorphin rush provides!! You'll fly to the halfway point (your current training distance) and all you have to do is get back to the barn!! Second, if I'm really gassed in a race, I focus on form...are my shoulders up around my ears, am I running from my core...little things, and you'd be surprised how just thinking about this both takes your mind off the distance, AND improves my breating and running efficiency...I can ease off and go the same speed. Lastly, if the will is cracking a bit, I sometimes break the remaining distance down into smaller components. If I have just a mile left, I can do a mile around my house ANY time..it's a familiar mental circuit...I can retreat into that mentally. Got a kilometer left...well, that's two par-5's, and I'm mentally off running on soft grass on a golf course...certainly I can do that!! Trust your training, and recognize that your mind is driving the bus!!
Hi Robin, Good Luck on your race! I teach Learn to Run programs. Eat a banana and some peanut butter and honey about an hour before. Definitely warm up before the race. Not just stretching but a brisk walk, some lunges, jump and down a few times. Start the race slow even though others around you may be humping it, just stay at a slow steady pace for at least 5 min. Then pick it up just a little if you feel up to it. If there is a water break, walk through it and sip your water. Then start up again slowly for about a min. and then pick up pace again. Push yourself but if you ever begin to lose control of your breathing, slow down, take deep breathes, and regain your composure. You will also be surprised what the excitement and energy generated from competing will do for your adrenaline. If you can run 2.5 miles, now there is no doubt in my mind that you will run and finish this race. HAVE FUN AND ENJOY THE DAY!!!!
Sounds like you have all the motivation you need from receiving so many replies to your original post!! You can see just from that you are not alone. You don't need it, but I felt compelled to add just one more post. The thing I enjoy most about running in races is the comradery . Everyone, no matter how fast, big, small, tall, short they are wants everyone else to do their best. Not necessarily win the race, but simply to accomplish THEIR goals. One persons first 5K is another persons first marathon.
Personally, I do not have a runners "build". I will never win a race or even my age group but it does not matter to me. I simply set a goal for that race. For my first 5K, my personal goal was just to finish. The second was to finish running the whole way if I could. I set these same goals for the first marathon and first IronMan that I did. The beauty is that the only thing that matters is what is important to you and that EVERY SINGLE RACE I have ever participated in, people will be cheering for you no matter if you are first or last to finish...thats just the way runners seem to be.
As everyone has said, set a goal for yourself, pace yourself at the start, have some fun and enjoy the accomplishment with everyone else after the race.
All the best...just keep on running.
Good luck on your run! Being nervous is very normal, I believe it is ingrained in our human DNA to be nervous before any kind of event of this sort. I think you just need to go at your pace, get plenty of rest the night before and try to stay hydrated during the run, the rest will come to you. I have been running in organized races for a good 5 years now and I still remember how nervous I felt the day I ran my first race. I couldn't sleep the night before, got up very early the next morning and spent a good 20-30 minutes trying to stay focued, but still being nervous, of course. Once the race started and everyone went their own way, all this feeling of being nervous went away and finishing felt so good. I know you'll be fine. Just take your time and be proud of yourself, because not everyone can say that he/she was able to finish a 5k race!
Hey Robin - I had a mantra also when I was running a hill in my neighborhood that I could never overcome. I kept saying "one more step" over and over in time with my pace and it worked for me, though not right away. I think you're overly worried. Here's things to remember- first of all, when you are in a race atmosphere, your body adrenalin will respond and kick it up a notch. If you talk to any runner they will tell you that their race time is always better than their training. Second, it doesn't matter how or when you finish- there will be hundreds more races in your lifetime- the first doesn't have to be the best. Just keep thinking how special it is that at your age your doing something most people can't do! Pretty awesome if you think about it. Keep that in mind and it should help you stay confident and relaxed.
Good luck and enjoy1
Know whatcha mean....I signed up for my first race taking place in April. It's a scary thought....competing! I will be happy if I finish....but now I'm nervous that I'll be last! I run 3 miles about 5 days a week, and I can't go the whole way without stopping. Getting better, but still....Good luck!
I know you can do it! You can run further in a race than you can by yourself. Just try to remember to start slow -- this is harder than it sounds because people will be racing past you initially. Take short walk breaks if you need to; most people do that. It will be a lot of fun and you're going to have a wonderful time!
Running in memory of Dad.
Hello! Congratulations on your commitment to run. I am 44 and started running last year and have done 5 races - 2 mile and 5K - since then.
I commit to myself that I am going to FINISH each race. I don't do these races to win - but I do try to improve my times each race.
I did mostly inside walking/running and biking programs all winter and have just recently jogged outside on the school track to get
ready for a 5K run on March 7.
The main point is not to be nervous. Everyone at these races is so great - from the experienced runners to the beginners like us. You run at
your own pace and concentrate on the finish line - even if you do have to walk some of it. No one points fingers and shouts
"Hey - she's not running!" We all support each other!
Good luck on your race!
Being worried about failing is what keeps a lot of people from taking care of themselves and trying something new. Don't worry about that. You goal isn't to break a record but to show yourself that you can finish this goal. Don't focus on how fast you run, just that you finish the run. At the end, you will realize that it is more mental than anything. Big congrats on getting ready for your first run!! You really can do it.
Robin, I so identified with your concerns. I ran my first 5K at the age of 64. Here are some tricks I developed. When I'm running (training or 5k), I ask myself if I can keep running if it doesn't get any harder than that moment. If the answer is yes, I just maintain that speed. If the answer is no, I slow it down a bit. If I give myself the option to walk, I always will--so I take that option out of the mix. But know on the day of the event, you can always walk a bit if absolutely necessary. There will always be other 5ks to improve. I think our bodies can do so much more than they're called upon these days. If you think you can do this, you really can. I remember being carried along on the joy of participation and sense of accomplishment that first 5k. It was so much shorter than I had anticipated. You're going to have a great time out there and you're going to feel such pride. Good luck and let us know how you do.
Keep it up Robin. I did my first 5K in May of 08. I ran a little back in the early 90's but that was over 15 years ago. Since my first 5K, almost a year ago, I have shaved 5 minutes off my time and have ran a marathon with another one scheduled in a couple of months. Anything is possible, keep your head up and feet on the ground