How to Survive a 5k Race | Beginners Edition

Can’t you just imagine the Rocky theme song playing as you cross the finish line at your 5k race, with a great time and full of spunk and jumping for joy as a medal is placed around your neck.  Now snap out of it.. That’s only in the movies BUT you can get darn near close to that image with these with the guide below.

Last year I did a 5k race and I did it ALL WRONG.I ran on a empty stomach, I did not train, I wore a backpack, I held my phone in my hand, my headphones kept falling out my ear, I got new shoes and clothes just for the race that ended up being funky looking, I walked 90% of the time, I showed up late. You guys get my drift I was not prepared at all.

BUT I want you to have greater success than me on your first(or do-over)  5k race. I want to share with you how to get to the finish line successfully and well equipped.

Preparation starts way before race day.

How to Survive a 5k race


  1. Training: I know most 5k races are fun and no pressure but you don’t want to be like me (panting and struggling after 1 mile) There are so many apps and free training offered on the internet. I am currently using C25k (review coming soon) and mapmyfitness, both apps are free and really good.
  2. Registration: Choose a 5k 1 to 6 months in advance. The prices are cheaper the early your register. You can plan your route and get the path of the race before you show up on race day.
  3. Set time goal: Most 5k races are not competition but you should have a goal when you go to a race. Run, jog. Jog all the way. Run all the way. Choose a time frame and aim for that.


  1. Stretch/Warm up: Learn to stretch or warm up. You can just walk at a moderate speed before you start to jog or run. You can look at free YouTube videos, there are some great ones for 3 to 5 minutes simple and easy to do.
  2. Clothing: Train in different clothing and see which clothes you are most comfortable in (for us fashion savvy people, I apologize in advance the cute stuff usually sucks to run in) You want comfort not fashionable. Your shoes need to be broken in before race day. Get a 1/2 size larger than usual. Your feet expand as it heats up and your feet move back and forth as you jog, you want to give your toes space to move. Again comfort over fashion. I love my high priced tennis shoes but the not so fashionable running shoes are much better.
  3. Gadgets: Headphones, armbands, headbands, iPod, phones, running pouches and water bottles or any other electronic you think you need, get all these things before race day and use them so you know if they work, need adjustment or if you need to get something new overall.

Day Before Race

  1. 1 mile run: After reading a few experts on running it is safe to say you want to get in a small or mini run but nothing too intense the day before the race you want to be well rested and not over exhausted the day before the race.
  2. Eat clean: This is not the time to pig out (save that for after the race lol) have light things to eat and keep it simple. The last thing you need before the race is a upset stomach and cramps.
  3. Stay dehydrated : Keep your water intake up the day before you need to be well hydrated for the 3.1 miles you are about to run. We don’t want you passing out from dehydration.
  4. Get organized: Time to pack. Lay out your clothes, charge your electronics,bring a towel, print out your tickets, map where you are going, research or review the path the race will take place on, set your alarm and get you at least 7 1/2 hours of sleep

Race Day

  1. Arrive early: Get there early, more than likley it will be crowded if you are doing a popular 5k (even if its smaller still show up early), some streets maybe blocked off and you have to find parking.
  2. Get your packet: Sign in, present your ticket and get your goodies. If you showed up early you can take anything back to the car or leave with someone who came to support you, that you feel may weigh you down.
  3. Capture the moment- Take some fun pictures and do a video or 2 ( I would love to see some awesome photos of my getfits at there races. Tag me @gojenbefit)
  4. Choose a spot: Decide where you want to line up . There may be a run section, run/walk section or the walk section. If you have trained it is fair to say you may want to go to the run/walk section but its your choice (if its yours first 1 or if you feel ambitious aim high )
  5. Go steady: When your wave is released (lol a wave is what the group of each section released during a race is called) don’t go too fast, you may be burn yourself out too fast. Start off mild and steady. Increase or decrease your speed as you see comfortable.
  6. Milestones: Each mile you will see an indicator or milestone that lets you know what mile you are on there will be volunteers there cheering you on and passing out water. Grab you a drink if you need to.
  7. Finish line:  Even if you walk , make sure when you see the finish line coming up you job or run through  it .. because you are crossing the finish line as a 5k race finisher.
  8. After the race: Stick around they may have music playing, more goodies to pass out and my favorite is to cheer on other people as they finish and be proud that you successfully completed a 5k.

I am glad to share how to survive a 5k race. This time last year I would have laugheed at anyone who said I would be jogging or running anywhere and actually writing about it.

My Colorrun 5k is 7/10/16. I will be sharing my video and review with you guys so come back and read some more.

Have you ran a 5k? Have you been thinking about it?

Contact me:


Instagram/Twitter: Gojenbefit



6 thoughts on “How to Survive a 5k Race | Beginners Edition

  1. fitnessgrad says:

    Hahaha! “this is only in the movies”, that made me laugh!!! hey, maybe I want to remake the rocky movie where I run up all those stairs with sweat pouring down and my face says “accomplished”. LOL. Nonetheless, this was a very well written post! I was just about to post about the same exact topic, must have read my mind, I will save mine for another day and time, but I am so happy you were able to share your disaster with us so that you could teach everyone how to properly prepare themselves.


    Liked by 1 person

      • fitnessgrad says:

        ooo yes!! I have heard of the color run, I wanted to do it as well, because I have heard so much buzz about it and all of it being positive. I will have to double check the dates and see if it fits my schedule or if I am out of luck! I have been doing research on fitness events and there is A LOT more than I had thought going on! Blows my mind, I am hoping to participate in a run this year before fall starts back up because I am not a fan of running in the cold air. I cannot wait to here about your run though! I will be on the lookout for it.
        Also, sounds good! Haha, hopefully it sounds just a good as your post. You had a lot of good information!

        Liked by 1 person

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