Participating in a 5K race for the first time is both exciting and stressful. In my experience, you will be overwhelmed by these conflicting emotions and feel nervous when you really don’t have to. Running a race should be fun and to get the best experience in your first time, make sure that you follow these tips:

Tips for Your First 5K Run

Don’t stress. It’s easy to get stressed when it’s your first time, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you should just relax and have fun. Days before the race, be sure not to try anything new and keep your body rested but still active through some exercise. You can use this time to practice, but make sure not to overwork yourself.

Familiarize yourself with the route beforehand. On my first time to run a 5K race, I didn’t know what to expect, and since the track wasn’t familiar, I found myself slowing down on each turn. That can be eliminated when you know the track already and can anticipate each turn. You will also feel more confident in your movement this way.

Stay hydrated, but drink in small increments. Make sure not to drink too much water before the game, but keep some water nearby especially when it’s too hot or when you’re feeling dehydrated. You will need liquids so that you have energy while running, but you don’t need too much that you will want to pee so quickly.

stay hydrated in a race

Eat something that won’t upset your stomach. Preparing for your first 5K run is not the time to experiment with food. Make sure to eat only foods that you know won’t upset your stomach. Eat in moderation and as the time for the race draws near, don’t hurry with your food and definitely don’t eat too much.

Refuel after the race. On my first race, I felt dizzy after the event was over. Always make sure that you refuel. Energy drinks could help, but make sure not to drink too heavily. Drinking a lot of slow sips would work and after an hour or so, you can then eat some solids.

The best tip I can give for those who are participating in their first race is to not stress about it. You will commit mistakes, and that is okay. I wasn’t perfect when I finished my first 5K run, but now I know what to do in future races. You will only get better with each race, so just have fun!