Your first 5K.

I don't run, but Tes does!

Check out my website!

I don’t run.  It bothers my knees and it bores me.  I would run occasionally in high school, because the ocean air makes being outside quite pleasant.  I would run in college, but I timed my jogging to when football practice was getting out…sweaty, half naked men are what I like to call a motivator.  I think we may have run a few times my first year as a Hawks dancer, but that’s a distant, and obviously blocked, memory.  I can’t say that I’ve run much since then.

I do, however, encourage those who enjoy running, to do so!  It’s a fantastic form of cardio, stress relief, and weight baring activity which is an excellent way to increase bone density.  That is why I am a sponsor for the RunningNerds 5k on April 14 here in Atlanta, GA.  My friend, Tes, the organizer for this event, asked me to not only be a sponsor but the official “warmer upper” for this race.  I am honored to have been given this opportunity because I love Tes’ philosophy when it comes to training.  She is a huge advocate of cross training…literal across sport training; she encourages her runners to try different types of exercise to prepare for races.  This is why a dance teacher (me, in desir80s form) will be doing the warm up for her race.  Now, I consider myself to be a well-educated trainer and teacher, and I stay current with my continuing education, but I do not know the first thing about preparing for a 5K, which is why I have asked Tes to be a part of my blog this week.

Here are Tes’ Top Ten Tips for your first 5K:

1) Don’t start out too fast!  Run your own race, your first 5K is NOT a track meet!

2) Arrive early to the race, about 45 minutes to an hour.  Give yourself enough time so you can get in a good warm up (Running Nerds, you get to warm up 80s style!), meet other firsties, and have time to smooth out any wrinkles that may come up (e.g. parking).

3) Pick up your race bib early, if that option is available.  This will allow you to get information ahead of time and cut down on tasks you have to do on race day. (For you Running Nerds, you’ll be able to pick up your bib early at yoforia on Howell Mill Rd. on Thursday, April 12 between 5pm and 8pm or at Big Peach Running Company (the Peachtree location) on Friday, April 13, between 3pm and 6pm.

4) Wear non cotton socks.  This will prevent blisters and wick moisture and sweat away from your skin.

5) Make sure you have shoes that you’ve been wearing!  This is not the time to break in a new pair of kicks you got for 50% off at Foot Locker!

I don't think I'll get very far with backless sneaks...

6) Have a dress rehearsal.  Run in clothing that you know you’re comfortable in, don’t try an itchy shirt the day of the race or shorts you’re going to be picking out of your butt.

7) Trust your training.  Trust that you can complete the distance.  Trust your ability to get out there and do it.

8) Enjoy yourself!  It goes by quickly, so enjoy the journey, the race, and the atmosphere.

9) Plan to stay for the after party!  Running Nerds, you’ll definitely want to plan to stay, it’s going to be the post-race party of the year!

10) Be proud of your accomplishment!  Just because it’s “only” 3 miles, doesn’t make it any less of an accomplishment!!  The RunningNerds 5k will be a festival of runners, and will include a special celebration for “My First 5K” runners!

Desiree’s Bonus Tip: Race day is not the time to experiment with your diet.  Do not try new foods, drinks, energy drinks, supplements, gels, etc the day of the race.  You never know how your body will react.  Diarrhea + running = not fun.

Looking for more tips?  Become a member of Tes’ facebook group My First 5K!  And follow RunningNerds on facebook!

The RunningNerds 5K on April 14 is leashed-dog friendly! Just make sure that your dog can run 3 miles, or you might ending up carrying the little mutt across the finish line.

  1. #1 by Diane Nathanson on April 1, 2012 - 9:07 pm

    Desiree’s mom doesn’t like to run either!!

  2. #3 by Happy_Jumper on April 2, 2012 - 2:23 pm

    I definitely agree with the first “tip”, don’t start out too fast! With pre-race jitters and the adrenaline pumping, it’s very tempting to bolt off of the start line. It might feel good when at the one mile mark you might hear “7:20” (meaning the time elapsed since the starting gun) and then….by mile two….you’re walking….and no, you’re not doing the Galloway method…’re just out of steam and your lungs are screaming for mercy. Consistent speed will make for a happier race. (Of course, if you can hold a 7:20 pace the whole distance….good for you, I’m jealous).

    About those knees….I never thought I’d be running because of post-ballet knee issues, BUT with a good knee brace, it is possible to enjoy running pain free.

    To increase training fun, consider a running buddy or running group. Please be careful if your running route requires being on the road…go without the music and wear reflective safety gear if it’s dark.

    Enough of the safety talk. Get your shoes on and get your derriere out of the door – because some days, that’s the hardest part.

    • #4 by fitdesiree on April 2, 2012 - 2:33 pm

      Great tips! Thanks for adding on!

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