You really ned to mentally for the pain of a 5k/10k. They are short distances which translates to FAST and PAINFUL. If you don’t mentally prepare for the pain/struggle that plaques your body by mile 1.5 then your mind will probably travel down a negative path and you will start to believe your mind when it tells you to slow down. I like to visualize the pain and visualize myself ignoring the negative self talk and instead visualize myself saying I can hang on and it will eventually be over soon, I just need to fight a little longer. I remind myself that 5 minutes is not that long and I can do really hard things for 5 minutes!
Invest in light weight shoes or racers so that your legs can feel as light as possible!
The 5k and 10k are the two races I believe running watch-less is best for performance. You really should run by feel and keep fighting regardless of what the watch says. The watch serves very little purpose because the distance is entirely mental and the seconds matter. There is no point in wasting time to look at your watch when ultimately your pace is controlled by your body’s signals and your mind’s positive self talk.
Nutrition-Don’t try anything new on race day! Practice a few times for your faster runs to see how your body handles the food. I personally love eating applesauce, but make sure its about 3-4 hours before the race. Great natural energy!
May sound silly, but make sure your shoes are tied!
Thank the volunteers.
No matter how long the distance, one way to avoid feeling overwhelmed is to break up the race in chunks. I always say it is just 1 mile, 3 times or 6 times all the way up to 26 times depending on the distance. If you have made it to start line you have already run many miles, just focus on the mile you are on.
Set 3 goals for each race. These goals should be goals you believe are reasonable but also will make you work hard. A goal if it is perfect day B goal what you know you are capable of and your C goal if the wheels fall or something happens.
Make sure to warm up at least 10 minutes, slowly ,but get your body moving! The 5K is a fast race and your body will thank you for warming it up first before going full throttle.
If you want to be reach your goals in running commit to be being consistent in training, sleep and eating. Running absolutely is a sport where if you put in the work, discipline, time and dedication it will pay pay off.
The marathon is not a short race. Don’t screw up your race on mile 2. Find a comfortable pace and sit on, if you get half way through feeling strong, start to increase your pace.