What to expect at your first 5k

It might be called a 5k race/runBut that doesn’t mean you cannot walk. Even if you plan on training to run a 5K, it would be smart to complete a 5K by walking to get the feeling of a 5K event.

Use a 5K as motivation/goal for your exercise program. Research 5K events and find one that is at least a month or two away, but also look for one that looks fun. Normally the earlier you sign up, the cheaper the registration fee.

Yes you have to pay money to register for a 5K but most 5k races are set up for a scholarship fund or charity. So, not only are you, exercising, you are exercising for a charitable cause.

Get there early. but do not expect the race to start on time. You will have to find parking, check in and pick up your 5K race bib and bag of goodies. Once you are checked in and have your 5K race bib pined to your shirt, you will need to warm up. Most 5K races are not organized by professional race organizers so don’t expect the race to start on time. It takes a lot of time and effort to get a large number of people checked in and organized.

Try not to be nervous. you are not the only first time 5K racer in the crowd.  You will see kids, active seniors, pregnant women, dad’s pushing strollers and much more.

Stay hydrated but don’t drink too much before the race. There may be free water bottles at the start, but it will not be fun trying to complete the 5K race with a stomach full of water. During and after the event is the time to hydrate.

Run/Walk YOUR 5K..but try not to get too excited at the start. In a big crowd people will tend to start off too fast and you will see a lot of people passing you in the beginning. You should have an idea of how long it takes you to walk/run a mile. If you stay at your pace you may start passing those people who went out too fast in the beginning.

Don’t stop moving and keep walking after you cross the finish line. You can slow your walking down after you finish; just don’t stop suddenly. It is important to keep your legs moving and stretch out just like you would do after any workout.

Yay a Free t-shirt chances are you will receive a t-shirt from the 5K.  The t-shirts typically are pretty artfully decorated and have sponsors on them.  When you wear them again, wear them with pride for what you have completed!!!!

Be proud of your accomplishment! You set an exercise goal and completed a 5K. Go give yourself a positive reward.