Taken from : www.runnersworld.com/art
This Weekend's 5-K
What to do in the days and the hours before your race.
By Jeff Galloway
From the September 2009 issue of Runner's World
You signed up for your first 5-K, and religiously followed a training plan for six weeks. Here's what to do on the last week to make the most of your experience. And once you reach the finish line, remember to give yourself a big pat on the back.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I RUN THIS WEEK?
Do two or three easy runs of 20 to 30 minutes. Take one or two days off before race day.
SHOULD I EAT A BIG BOWL OF PASTA THE NIGHT BEFORE? No, loading up can lead to "unloading" during the race. Eat a normal portion of your regular healthy dinner.
SHOULD I WEAR THE RACE T-SHIRTTO THE RACE? Unfortunately, most race shirts are made of cotton and become heavy as they absorb sweat, so save it for bragging rights after you cross the finish line.
I SEE PEOPLE SPRINTING BEFOREHAND. SHOULD I DO THAT, TOO? No. Warm up 30 to 40 minutes before the race begins by walking for five minutes, jogging for five minutes, then picking up the pace a bit for the next five minutes. Finally, walk to the starting line.
WHERE SHOULD I LINE UP? At the very back of the crowd, where the atmosphere is relaxed. Start on a side so you can move over to take one-minute walk breaks for every one to four minutes of running.
SHOULD I RUN AS FAST AS POSSIBLE FROM THE START? No. Even if the folks around you take off quickly, restrain yourself so you have energy to finish.
WHAT IF IT RAINS? The race will still be held. Wear a cap and a garbage bag with holes cut for your head and arms that you can discard before the gun goes off .
WHAT IF I COME IN LAST? You probably won't, but if you do, the crowd often cheers loudest for the last person. Congratulate yourself for beating the thousands in your community who are still in bed.
Leave early: Plan to get to the race site about 45 minutes before the start. Leave your house 30 minutes earlier than you think you need to. This helps ease anxiety--you'll have plenty of time to get your number, go to the rest room, and get to the starting line, even if you make a wrong turn.
Speak up: At the starting line, tell others that this is your first race. Most will respond with stories of their first race and encourage you on yours.
Run slowly: Do the first two miles at the speed of your long runs; if you run/walk, use your usual ratio. Pick up the pace a little for the final mile if you feel good. You may be able to run the race faster, but resist. A slower pace helps you finish strong, which increases the chance that you'll race again.
Forget about being last: Odds are there will be runners behind you. However, being last has its advantages; the final finisher often receives the loudest applause.