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farmgirl

Advice welcomed for my first 5K

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Ok, I have registered for my first 5K on 10/25 and I'm freaking out now LOL!  I'm participating in the Zombie 5K Run/Walk/Shuffle to raise money for a local community playground.  In this particular 5K (which I'm totally stoked about) you are running a woodland trail and trying to make it to the end without hoards of Zombies that are hiding throughout the trail getting your three flags.  And for added fun, it's a night run!  There are going to be lights strung along the trail (kind of like Christmas lights) but it will still be really spooky and really fun! 

 

With all of that being said, this will be my first 5K.  Mentally I'm ready and I'm psyched for this but I fear that I'm not physically ready yet.  My friend and I have decided to do this together since we're at about the same fitness level and won't be holding the other back because neither of us have RUN that distance or time before.  2.5 miles is a normal 30 minute workout for me.  SO what's another .7 miles right?

 

I would really welcome some pointers.  Any advice, what do I eat?  How much do I drink?  What if I can't make it?  Anything in particular that helped you get through your first 5K? 

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I think the most important single piece of advice I've ever been given before an event (I was told it for cycling events but it applies to running too) is to not do anything different.  Eat what you would normally eat on a day that you do a run, drink the same things at the same time you would normally drink when you do a run, wear the same shoes and same clothes that you are used to running in.

 

Basically the idea is that if you start eating/drinking/wearing something different it a) might upset your body and give you an upset tummy, make you need need the toilet mid-race or cause chaffing/blisters but also b ) psychologically you have been doing the same thing each time you run and have been running well, so if you change something you could end up with a mental block e.g. new running shoes, you might start to worry that they are rubbing and slow your pace.

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WooBoy Farmgirl, I would freak out with zombies running after me, scary enough.  So proud of  you for signing up.   I found this on Popsugars website:

 

  • Get Your Z's Two Nights Before. Pre-race jitters tend to strike the night before the race, interrupting your sleep. When it comes to running for beginners or even experienced racers, trust that this is normal and will not influence your race. Prepare yourself instead by getting quality sleep two nights before the race and taking that day completely off from any activity.
  • Keep It Light. During race week, your running mileage should decrease. At this point, your training is really about "storing up" rest so your legs are ready on race day. During the week, include two to three short runs with a few, small pick ups — short, snappy segments that get your legs moving faster and prepare you for the faster tempo of the race — to keep your legs fresh. Two days out from the race, take a day off for total rest. The day before the race, do a short (20-minute) run with up to five pick ups under 45 seconds to sharpen your legs.
  • Fill the Tank. On race morning, be sure to eat the breakfast you've practiced in training. Aim to eat about two hours prior to the race. Keep it simple — a bowl of oatmeal with dried fruit, a sports bar, bagel with peanut butter. Eat something high energy and easily digestible. Be sure to include hydration — water, sports drink if it's warm outside to give you the electrolytes you need, and coffee if that's part of your normal routine.
  • Get There Early. There's a lot to be done on race morning including parking, packet pick-up, waiting in line for the restroom, warming up. Arrive at the race site 60 minutes prior to the start — knowing where you can park, what time packet pick-up closes (if you couldn't do it the day before), and where to go for the starting line.
  • Warm It Up. About 25 minutes prior to the race, get warmed up. Start with a 10 minute easy jog, then slowly build your pace for five minutes. Then, include up to five short pick-ups under 30 seconds at race pace. Gently stretch any tight muscles after your warm up.
  • Get in line. The starting line can be crowded and nerve-wracking with so many people and different paces. Starting in the middle to back of the pack is safe for most beginners. You will start with those around your pace and you will have many more ahead of you to chase down.
  • Pace Yourself. Most racers give their best effort in the first mile leaving two more to go! Aim to negative split your effort on race day — that simply means finishing the second half of the race faster than you ran the first half. Start conservatively and build your effort throughout the run. When you start out too fast, your body works too hard too soon and fizzles after the first mile, making your overall time slower, not faster. In the last quarter mile, kick it in to the finish line to finish strong.
  • Keep It Positive. When things get tough, it's common for the little voice in your head to start telling you all the reasons why you will fail or why you should slow down. Often, having a positive mantra for the race — such as "I can do it" or "fast feet to the finish line" — will distract you from any pain and keep you focused. Practice these affirmations during your harder training sessions so they become automatic on race day.
  • Breathe. On race day, let go of any comparisons to other runners and release any worries or doubts. You've done the training and if you have the desire to get to the finish line, you will arrive. At the starting line, take a few deep breaths and assure yourself that you have what it takes to cover 3.1 miles. Revisit your best training sessions to find the confidence you need.
  • Capitalize on the High. The post-race high can be exhilarating. Capitalize on it to keep your momentum going and set new goals for the next finish line, wherever that might be. Sign up for another run race a few weeks later to keep yourself motivated to continue with your new habits, to test your progress or just to have fun.

Good Luck and PLEASE let us know how it goes!

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OHH NOOOOOOOO FARMGIRL, You blew out your knee?  How did yo do that and what does that mean?  Ouch.   I so hate being sidelined with a freaking injury, really pisses you off.   Like, you work out hard for weeks and weeks, and poof, you get sick for a week, sucks.

 

What does the DR. say for healing for you??   Remember that if you cannot run, you can workout sitting down..  Lift weights, situps, etc... Let me know if you need some help with exercises.   I taught Sittercize for a few years...

 

Hugs to you and I am here for you if you need help and a hug!    

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Thank you so much Kelly for the kind words and support!  I use the term "blown out knee" because it just gave out from under me when I was crossing fallen tree in my path while "wogging" in the woods behind my house.  Ortho says it's just a bad sprain and I have a stupid brace on my stupid knee that I am keeping stabilized for a couple more days.  After that, I can wear a brace that has more give and slowly work my way back to some movement, but he suggested that I wear the brace from here on out when running to help prevent this from happening again.  He also wants me to go very easy next week (just a slow walk) and then in a couple of more weeks I'm clear to ease myself back into a normal workout routine.  I'm sure that I'll have to start the program from week 1 again but hopefully I'll be back up to my current pace soon.  I've been doing some leg lifts, weights for my arms and trying to do some ab crunches in my recliner just to keep moving.  Thank you again for the support, it really means a lot :)

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Guest Bobo

Farmgirl, even though you have an injury look at it as a temporary issue. I chose to try a 5k for the first time last June (I am 45) and I had some issues with shin splints that had me discouraged. I worked through them and ran (well, ran-walk-ran-walked) the race. Came in dead last but I beat the 45 minute goal I set for myself. I really don't like running, but I am still doing it and still working toward another 5k. Chin up and admire the view. Best of healing to you.

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Kelly I have been healing well and am so happy!  I'm still taking it pretty slow, just doing a steady slow pace on the treadmill right now but can feel that my knee is getting stronger but it still occasionally "gives away" if I try to move too fast.  Hopefully next week I am going to pick the pace back up and get back into C25K soon!  I love the support in this forum and thanks for thinking of me!  *hugs*

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