What to do 1 month, 1 week, and 1 day before your 5K

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Thinking about signing up for your first 5K? Or, are you a seasoned runner looking for her next challenge? Use the tips below to make the most of your training time leading up to race day. And don’t forget to sign up for Family Fit Fair because, yes, the 5K run/walk is BACK!

The month before…

The Mayo Clinic suggests an alternating run/walk schedule in advance of the big day. For example, run 30 minutes on Monday, walk 30 minutes on Tuesday, and continue to alternate. On Saturday, go for distance, rather than time—instead of 30 minutes, plan to run or walk 4 miles, depending on your capabilities. Stretch within 15 minutes after every run. On Sunday, get some much-needed rest.

Also, start eating balanced, nutrient-dense meals.

The week before…

Besides getting yourself physically prepared for the run, it’s important to mentally prepare. In a Q&A with sports psychologist Gemma Bragg, our friends at The North Face reveal that almost every runner reaches a mental low point during a race—your legs are burning, your feet are heavy, and you are overcome by the urge to give up. As you go on your practice runs this week, visualize that low point, and come up with ways to move past it. Maybe it’s picturing the smiles of your troop and family members at the finish line congratulating you, or maybe it’s being grateful for having a body that allows you to run a race. Whatever keeps you going could be the difference between finishing the race and giving up.

The day before…

Hydrate! You should be hydrating every day, including on race day, but it’s important to drink extra water the day before a race.

The day of…

You worked hard, and race day has finally arrived! Today, do the best you can, and be kind to yourself—things might not go exactly as you planned, your body might not behave exactly as you want it to, and that’s OK. You’re still here! You’ve reached your goal! And after the race, Family Fit Fair has a day of exciting programming to share with your family and your troop.

Registration for the 6th annual Family Fit Fair closes Oct. 17. Sign up now and start your training regime! We’ll see you at the finish line.

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