When running a 5k race, there are a number of things to consider. You must prepare yourself with practice, warm up before the race, keep hydrated, pace yourself, finish strong and cool down after the race. All of these things are equally important in helping you to finish the race.
Before a 5k race you must practice. One of the worst things you could do is to go into the race without having prepared. You will need to practice your form and breathing, as well as how to pace yourself throughout the race from start to finish. Consider trying different ways of practicing. Run outside one day and use a treadmill or indoor track on a day when it's cold or rainy outside.
A key ingredient to finishing a 5k race is warming up and stretching before the race. It's important to stretch from head to toe. Doing lunges, hamstring stretches, arm circles and toe touches are all ways to stretch your body before the race. If you're unprepared and have not stretched, you will run the risk of injuring yourself or experiencing muscle cramps half way through the race.
Drink plenty of water the night before and the day of the race. Staying hydrated will keep your muscles from clenching up or cramping and will eliminate some of the pain and soreness after the race. More than likely there will be someone passing out water along the course. Take advantage of this and take a glass as you're running by.
When practicing for the 5k race, focus on your pace. Start out slow at the beginning and work up to a quicker pace. If you make the mistake of starting too quickly, you will run the risk of burning out half way through the race. If you start out slow and build up your pace as you go, you're more likely to finish the race and to finish strong.
The end of the race is your time to shine. At about the last quarter of the race, pull out all of the stops. Quicken your pace on the last leg and give it all you've got. Not only will you reach the finish, you will also pass some runners as you go. As you see the finish approaching, push yourself and sprint the final few steps of the race. If you feel as though you can't go on, remind yourself of how far you've come.
Just as warming up before the 5k race is important, cooling down after it is, too. Your heart rate will be up and your breathing will be harder than normal. It's important to slow both your heart rate and breathing down. Breathe deeply and interlock your hands on top of your head. This will let the air flow more efficiently and allow you to breathe better. Walk around slowly so that your heart rate won't come down too quickly.
Finishing a 5k race takes preparation and hard work. It is very rewarding to cross the finish line and look back at how far you've come.