My first 5K was the Baltimore Women’s Classic in 2013. I completed the race in decent time and was so proud of myself for getting out there to run, but there were many things I wish I had known before I started.
I had the opportunity to speak with some amazing Sorors who want to share their secrets to help you successfully complete your next 5K race! Below are some of the valuable tips they’d like to share:
Soror Alexandria Walker (RRCA Certified Running Coach) says:
“Running has its benefits. It’s not an easy task but with time it becomes more and more enjoyable. As a runner, I have enjoyed the following benefits. I’m healthier (probably the healthiest I’ve ever been). I’m more disciplined. I’m more self-motivated. I’m more confident! I feel like I’ve found my passion. However, I haven’t always felt passionate about running. There are things I wish someone would have shared with me before running my first 5K. ”
Soror Walker’s 5K tips:
- Tip #1 Preparation is important. Train for your 5K like you would study for the LSAT! Be dedicated and self-motivated. In the beginning, you should be running for endurance and not speed. In running to get better, you have to do more of it. So, don’t be discouraged if you aren’t as fast as you would like to be.
- Tip #2 Running form is extremely important. Proper form is half the battle. There are various running sites that can demonstrate proper running form.
- Tip #3 Proper running gear is important. Make sure you have the proper running shoes (get fitted, pay the extra money for comfort). Your feet and the rest of your body will thank you. Make sure you have proper running clothes i.e. running tights, shorts, etc. You want clothes that you can run comfortably in and trust it makes a difference.
- Tip #4 Find a routine that works for you. You can’t compare your running journey to that of anyone else. Everyone’s journey is different. I wish someone would have told me that what works for one person won’t necessarily work for me. I could’ve saved myself a lot of time. What do I mean? Some people eat the morning of a race and others don’t. Decide what routine works for you and go for it.
- Tip #5 Trust your training! Own your race! Enjoy race day! Make your first 5K and every race afterwards fun and enjoyable! Never outrun the joy of running! On race day, remember YOUR RACE, YOUR PACE! Take in the scenery, enjoy the moments and celebrate the accomplishment! Cross the finish with a smile on your face! Happy Running!
I’ve completed several half marathons and one international half marathon. I’m currently training for my first marathon. I’m a recently RRCA, Certified Running Coach. Running is my passion and sanity! It’s my therapy! Feel free to check out my Facebook page if you have questions or if you are interested in my training program. Happy Running!
Soror Carol Williams says:
“I started running as part of a morning bootcamp program and HATED it! Over time I began to run on the weekends with a few women from bootcamp and the miles fell away as we talked. Then we began running races together. I became addicted to that race day feeling and the medals. That was about 15 years ago. Now, running is how I relax, clear my head, get in my cardio and celebrate my accomplishments. Running allows me to push myself and see what my mind & body working together can accomplish. First a 5k. Then 5 miler. Next 10 miles. The big half marathon. Next up a full marathon. Now I run races back to back. Two marathons in 14 days on two different continents.
Soror Williams’ 5K tips:
- Tip #1 Find a couch to 5k training program that works for you and stick to tbe training program.
- Tip #2 Surround yourself with encouraging people – runners & nonrunners.
- Tip #3 Your sneakers are the most important piece of clothing you will have when running. Go to a running store and get properly fit for sneakers. Good sneakers will help prevent injury.
- Tip #4 On race day trust your training, have fun & smile for the cameras!
Soror Sharonda Ware says:
“It wasn’t my idea to run my first 5K. I’d been participating in a fitness boot camp and part of the training included walking and then running the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. One of the girls asked “What are you doing next Saturday evening?” I said nothing, next thing I knew I was at the Arlington 9/11 5K race on the 10th anniversary of the tragedy in 2011.With over 3,000 people running in the nearly 90 degree heat (especially by the Pentagon) it was tough. But I felt so accomplished and excited to have run my first race. I had no idea that 4 years later, I’m still running, mostly 10+ mile races.
Soror Ware’s 5K tips:
- Tip #1 Do strength train. Prevents injury and provides necessary flexibility you’ll need.
- Tip #2 Better technique leads to better runs. If you can make it to a running workshop, like one I attended by Black Girls Run it will help because you work harder and are more injury-prone with bad form.
- Tip #3 Run your own race. Don’t worry about your speed or what the next person is doing. Do you! That’s the only way you won’t get too stressed out or discouraged.
Are you preparing for a 5k race this spring / summer? What was your first 5K race like? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us.