Running a 5k

Pure DinPure Din Boston-areaRegistered User regular
Some of my friends are doing a 5k race together next weekend and I was invited to join, even though I'm really not a good runner at all. Right now it takes me about 35-40 minutes to "run" 5k on a treadmill, which is about the same as one or two of the people in my group of friends, but still pretty darn slow...

I'm not really aiming to improve my time at all in the next week. I was going to practice running outside over the next week but this weekend I caught a really nasty cold so I might only get one or two chances to try running outside before next weekend. Does anyone have any advice for running outside or running in a race as opposed to just by yourself? Thanks.

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  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    If you've got friends who you can pace with then you are pretty much golden. If you don't think your friends are going to be doing the same pace as you then just arrive early to warm up and mingle with the other runners to hopefully find someone that is at your pace.

    If you aren't in the race to win, but rather just finish and enjoy your time, you really want a pace with someone so you can still have a bit of conversation. Makes the time fly by and you might make a new friend or two by the end.

    Can you run your practices coming up with your friends who are around your finishing time?

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  • KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
    5ks are tons of fun and a way to get into running races. I did my first one 4 years ago and now run multiple half marathons.

    Definitely try to get at least a run or two outside. It's really different than running on treadmill when you're dealing with weather and incline changes.

    Make sure to hydrate plenty the day before the race. Come race day the most important thing is to pace yourself. At the start of most races the pack will be really crowded and combined with the adrenaline you'll be feeling it can be really easy to waste energy.

    This being your first race it'll be hard to gauge what your right pace will be so I say take it a comfortable level for the first two miles and then really push yourself towards the end.

    More importantly,have fun and remember that's it's about reaching the finish line!

  • Pure DinPure Din Boston-areaRegistered User regular
    Thanks for the advice! I just tried my first outside run today, but it didn't go so well -- had to switch to walking a few times, and even sat down at one point because I was so tired from being out in the sun and running up hills. I know the place where the race is next weekend will be a lot flatter, hopefully it will be cooler then as well. :\
    Kyougu wrote: »
    Make sure to hydrate plenty the day before the race. Come race day the most important thing is to pace yourself. At the start of most races the pack will be really crowded and combined with the adrenaline you'll be feeling it can be really easy to waste energy.

    Is it important to bring water with me during the race also? I try to drink plenty before and after but I never bring a water bottle with me when I'm running because my sides stitch up too much.

  • KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
    It probably wouldn't hurt, though how much water is going to depend on you. Some runners need tons of hydration others can run without it.

    Any race will have water stops if you don't want to carry anything with you as you run.

  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    @BEAST!‌
    @Hakkekage‌

    You are summoned to the running thread!

  • CabezoneCabezone Registered User regular
    You're not going to need water running only 5k, during the run, after tho you may want it. When you first start you will feel tight and nervous...don't try and keep up with the fastest runner. You really need to know your own pace and just start running that...after a few hundred yards you will loosen up and be able to run freely.

    h3ndu
  • CabezoneCabezone Registered User regular
    If it's a flat course...shouldn't be much different than running on the mill. Hills can take some practice to get used to.

  • CabezoneCabezone Registered User regular
    edited September 2014
    32m for 3 miles was my casual run pace while in the army and I was far from the slowest person. If you can maintain close to 8-9 minute miles for distance...you're doing alright.

    Cabezone on
    h3ndu
  • SixSix Thankful for my limbs and teeth Registered User regular
    Pure Din wrote: »
    Thanks for the advice! I just tried my first outside run today, but it didn't go so well -- had to switch to walking a few times, and even sat down at one point because I was so tired from being out in the sun and running up hills. I know the place where the race is next weekend will be a lot flatter, hopefully it will be cooler then as well. :\

    This is just fine - you did a great job :)

    Lots of good advice here already, so I won't repeat any of it other than to advise you not to beat yourself up if you feel like you need to slow down or walk a bit. It's not going to be as hard as you think it is, but it's also not going to be a big deal if you can't go quite as fast as you want. Just relax, try to enjoy it, and feel good about what you've already done. Three years ago on this date I couldn't run down the block and I'll be running my second full marathon in a few weeks. Getting that first 5k under my belt was the biggest step, and you're already about there. Great job.

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  • SanderJKSanderJK Crocodylus Pontifex Sinterklasicus Madrid, 3000 ADRegistered User regular
    It is really hard to run above your comfort level, I wouldn't advice trying to keep up with your friends if you are afraid of not making it.
    The best pace is when you are breathing heavily: Unable to sing, able to speak.

    If it's an organised race, be conservative about your starting position, it's more fun to slowly overtake people than getting overtaken.

    Drink plenty of fluids beforehand, I'd advice against eating much in the last hour or two. It's not that much calories/dehydration anyway, that usually kicks in at around 10k.

    If you want to run more, do look into shoes. Running is hard on your joints and shoes protect you.
    Most running shoes cost approximately the same, they're all ugly as sin, so just let the guy at a specialist store talk you to through, and maybe video your tred so he can give advice.

    Most important, just enjoy yourself, and the time you set. It's the first race.

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  • zagdrobzagdrob Registered User regular
    If you're doing 5k on a treadmill, you should be golden.

    Take your time, run at a comfortable pace - make yourself run slightly slower than you want to the first mile or two, and try to pick up pace around 2 miles when you've got a better idea what you're comfortable with. If you need to slow down more or even stop and walk a bit, don't worry about it. You aren't trying to set a PR and you shouldn't worry about keeping up with your friends. Just set a benchmark you can improve on in the future.

    Drink fluids, don't eat for an hour or two before the run, go to the bathroom before the run. 5k isn't that far - you shouldn't need to worry about doing anything special with water or energy, but every organized run I've done had a water station partway through if you need a drink or even to just rinse out your mouth.

    I find the hardest part of going from a treadmill to outside is pacing. I always end up running too fast when I switch to outside running in the spring and gassing myself. It's good to get outside a few times to settle your pacing before you do your first run. That's probably why your run outside was so hard, even more than the hills...pacing is really hard to get right without a benchmark / GPS watch or a lot of experience.

    Like everyone said though, just enjoy yourself. A run - especially your first one - should be fun. You can worry about setting a PR later.

  • kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    You're going to be slower than a lot of people at the race and faster than some, in a ratio that depends on demographics.

    I doubt there will be time corrals, so you should run with your own pace in mind - it's easy to go too fast out of excitement and end up out of gas by mile 2 because you were keeping pace with people at a 9:30 or 10:00 mile.

    Assuming you're otherwise in good shape, there's nothing wrong with going harder in your last stretch, but you're better off being conservative to avoid walking in.

    Treadmills tend to be easier and lower impact than the real world, so plan for you to be on the slow end of your treadmill times. not sure what's going on there as a 5 minute swing on a 5k pretty large.

    fwKS7.png?1
  • darklite_xdarklite_x I'm not an r-tard... Registered User regular
    Didn't read any other replies, but can tell you that something that really helps me is listening to some motivating music. Running sucks, but if you can somewhat motivate yourself with some music it helps A TON.

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  • imdointhisimdointhis I should actually stop doin' this. Registered User regular
    i find the time goes by faster if i pretend i'm holding a sword and shield and charging into battle

    007ctrl_roomAngelina
  • 007ctrl_room007ctrl_room Registered User regular
    congrats on taking on a 5k! i've found the best way to rapidly improve your 5k times is by doing interval sprints and hill sprints. i used to do longer runs for years, but never was able to get any real gains in time. once i incorporated sprints and tempo runs my time seriously improved - my best was 18:00.

    LFGdating | In twenty years I'll still be playing Red Alert ... and Goldeneye.
    h3ndu
  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    http://jog.fm/ has lists of music by the pace if you run on the beat. I've found it helpful because otherwise I'll make playlists where the tempo is constantly changing and I never keep a steady pace.

    Also try to run the first mile intentionally slow. You are naturally going to want to try and keep up with everyone around you, and then instead of a steady 11 min/mile pace, you'll do the first mile in 9:10 and just die in mile 2 or 3.

    How do you spell Justice?B D S Non-Violent Resistance to Israel Apartheid & Occupation.
  • Pure DinPure Din Boston-areaRegistered User regular
    I did it! However, I didn't realize I was supposed to hang on to the tab of paper on the bottom of my number, so I don't have an official time. But it was roughly 38m, and I only walked during a few uphill parts so I'm pretty happy.
    SanderJK wrote: »
    If you want to run more, do look into shoes. Running is hard on your joints and shoes protect you.
    Most running shoes cost approximately the same, they're all ugly as sin, so just let the guy at a specialist store talk you to through, and maybe video your tred so he can give advice.

    So actually even though I've never tried jogging until a few weeks ago, because I have very high arches plus very narrow feet so the first thing I did was get fitted for running shoes from a specialty store. Unfortunately there is not much available for narrow feet. The last time I tried to take up jogging I was 15-20 pounds heavier and had shoes that were too wide and it was intolerable. This time around, the best shoes I could find at the running store only fit if I lace them tightly and the outsides of my feet are still hurt over 12 hours after the race, which doesn't seem normal to me. So I don't think I'll do much more jogging until I have a chance to try one of the bigger running stores in Boston.

    davidsdurionsDerrickpirateluigikaliyama
  • Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    insoles might help with the "shoes too big" issue. However, it is not fun to add another $40-80 onto your (probably) already $120 shoe purchase.

  • Iceman.USAFIceman.USAF Major East CoastRegistered User regular
    Pure Din wrote: »
    I did it! However, I didn't realize I was supposed to hang on to the tab of paper on the bottom of my number, so I don't have an official time. But it was roughly 38m, and I only walked during a few uphill parts so I'm pretty happy.
    SanderJK wrote: »
    If you want to run more, do look into shoes. Running is hard on your joints and shoes protect you.
    Most running shoes cost approximately the same, they're all ugly as sin, so just let the guy at a specialist store talk you to through, and maybe video your tred so he can give advice.

    So actually even though I've never tried jogging until a few weeks ago, because I have very high arches plus very narrow feet so the first thing I did was get fitted for running shoes from a specialty store. Unfortunately there is not much available for narrow feet. The last time I tried to take up jogging I was 15-20 pounds heavier and had shoes that were too wide and it was intolerable. This time around, the best shoes I could find at the running store only fit if I lace them tightly and the outsides of my feet are still hurt over 12 hours after the race, which doesn't seem normal to me. So I don't think I'll do much more jogging until I have a chance to try one of the bigger running stores in Boston.

    First of all, AWESOME on completing your first 5k.


    Second, if you're near Boston there is a New Balance outlet in Lawrence MA. If you find yourself around that area they offer some fairly steep discounts on current and previous model year stuff. Shoes, clothes, lots of things. They also usually have great black Friday deals (like 25% off entire purchase). I make it a point to go there every year and get my running shoes for the year.



  • thelawmanthelawman Registered User new member
    5ks are pretty much a walking race when they are done for charity.

  • SixSix Thankful for my limbs and teeth Registered User regular
    That has absolutely nothing to do with the accomplishment of preparing for and then running one when you never have.

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  • Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    i hate it when people say "oh you don't have to train for a 5k, it's like a brisk walk"

    not when i get shin splints after running 3 blocks!

  • kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    edited October 2014
    i hate it when people say "oh you don't have to train for a 5k, it's like a brisk walk"

    not when i get shin splints after running 3 blocks!

    Shin splints gets misused as a general term for lower leg pain while running.

    A real shin splint is a stress injury brought on by over-exercising. If you have them, you are getting them because at some point you overtrained and injured some tissue. You should a doctor about a recovery plan.

    Some initial pain while running is normal and tends to recede, while spin splints never go away.

    That advice w/r/t 5k is true if somebody is otherwise athletically active and in shape. If you play basketball or ultimate frisbee or whatever, 5k probably doesn't require any additional training to be in shape to complete it at a non-competitive pace. If you are overweight and/or sedentary you are much more prone to injury and definitely need to train.

    kaliyama on
    fwKS7.png?1
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