So you have been Jogging hard in preparation for running in a 5k race. You have run a few before and now you want to up your performance and results. Here are a few things to keep in mind that will help you improve your 5k running and your race times.
First of all. Don not over train yourself. You are running 5K and there’s not point in conditioning your body to run 7 or 8k. At the most run an extra kilometer to build up your stamina and energy reserves. Start building up to this a few weeks before the race – not 3 days ahead of time!
Do not change your 5K Running system at the last minute to accommodate what you think may be the demands of the race. If you are trying to make any changes at all, do those changes 3-4 weeks before the race because if you do them too close to the race they may have a negative impact.
At the start of the 5K Running you will find a lot of beginners starting out like they are doing a 100 meter sprint. You know better so let them rush off and burn themselves out. The real mistake will come if you try to keep up with the pros up front as you will be very sorry later on. That is not the kind of runner you are or have trained to be, so don’t even try.
Once you have settled into your own pace, you will either find yourself among a pack of similarly skilled runners or see one near you. Stay with the pack unless you find as the race progresses that it is slowing you down, in which case move ahead. Do not get boxed in by the pack, try and stay on the fringes of it.
Sometimes you will find that a time comes when you need to move and break away from the pack. When it is depends on the type of runner you are, strong in the second half, a sprinter to the finish, or anything else. Once you decide its time to step on the gas, make your move and don’t look back. Run your own race.
If you see someone making a break before you do, avoid the temptation of trying to keep up with him, unless you are sure you can. He may be younger or stronger than you and you will burn out trying to keep up with him. Or he may have made a mistake and you will end up paying the price for it.
What is really a good skill to have is to be able to find your own pace at the beginning of the race when you are surrounded by hundreds of runners. Be patient – the crowd will thin out soon enough and that is the time to settle down to your normal 5k running speed and style.
Finishing a 5k race is an achievement. You may get an extra bonus if you find yourself finishing high up among the other runners. But remember what you are running for – fun and fitness and don’t let the desire to beat a lot of other runner deprive you of that.
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