Discover what's new & improved in the MyFitnessPal app!
We’re dedicated to helping you achieve your health and nutrition goals. And our newest features and updates? They do just that. Learn how we're making tracking your progress easier, faster, and more motivating than ever.

5K tips for first-timer?

Hi all. I've been doing the couch to 5K program for quite some time now and have made pretty decent progress. I'm considering signing up for my first 5K, but was wondering if anyone had any tips? It's not until September so I have plenty of time to make sure I'm ready. Thanks!


  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,719 Member
    get decent trainers
  • kickassbarbie
    kickassbarbie Posts: 286 Member
    Don't try to race anyone else at the race day! There will be some fast and slow runners most likely just go at your own pace.

    Do a practise run on similar terrain if not the same place as the race before hand. My first u made the mistake of underestimating how bumpy it would be.
  • coreyreichle
    coreyreichle Posts: 1,031 Member
    Don't skip days on the schedule, even if you feel like you can jump ahead.

    Do the first couple of weeks on a treadmill, so you can get a feel what what a steady pace is.

    Get decent running sneakers.

    Listen to your body. If you can point and say,"It hurts right here", that's an injury. Take a break. If you say,"Gah, my leg hurts", but cannot point to one spot, you're seeing results.

    Sometimes, don't listen to your body. Week #1 and #2 felt like hell while I was doing it. Week #3, and you start getting into the groove.
  • msf74
    msf74 Posts: 3,498 Member
    Enjoy yourself.

    Your time will be a PB if it is your first race and will give you something to improve upon come the next race...
  • TracyV125
    TracyV125 Posts: 100 Member
    Make sure you have good running shoes.

    If you're doing the C25K program on a treadmill mix it up with outdoor runs. Running outside is completely different.

    If you know the race course ahead of time run it a few days before the race.

    Get a good night sleep and enjoy yourself!

    I ran my first 5K when I still had a week left of the C25K program. I had 2 goals for myself which might interest you: 1) complete the race 2) No stopping or walking.

  • bigblondewolf
    bigblondewolf Posts: 268 Member
    Thanks so much for all of the advice!
  • 7lenny7
    7lenny7 Posts: 3,493 Member
    I just ran my first 5k last week. It was awesome!

    When you line up for the race, line up towards the back. That way you'll have less people passing you and you'll have more people to pass.

    When people are passing you, particularly at the start, you'll feel compelled to run faster, taking you out of your game and you risk tiring too quickly.

    If you're in the back, you'll be better able to run your pace and when you pass people, even walkers, it will give you a psychological boost.

    Also, pick up the race packet ahead of time if you can. Tell them it's your first time and ask about parking, when they suggest you arrive, how many they expect, if there are water stops, will there be food and beverages at the end, will they have a bag check, how will the turns be marked, etc. Basically the more you know about how it will go, they less you'll have to wonder about that morning.

    If you plan on eating before the race, don't eat too much and do it at least 90 before the start so it's not sitting in your gut when you run. I had toast with peanut butter and a banana 90 prior and it was too much.

    Don't over hydrate. Sounds odd, but I had read about getting plenty to drink the night before so I did. I also drank plenty of water that morning. Even though I hit the Porta potty twice before the race, I got the urge to go again just after the race started.