First 5k Tips – What I wished I had known.

Last weekend I accomplished something that I had been wanting to do for years. I ran my first 5k with my Fiance! We were not as prepared as we would have liked to be, we had only been training for 2 months before hand. I was really happy with our results but there were a few things I wished I would have known before hand. Check out my First 5k Tips so you are more prepared then I was!

First 5k Tips

Slow down, pace yourself. We ran way harder and longer then we ever had before. Race day brought on a huge rush of adrenaline and while I was happy with our time, we paid for it the next few days. Can you say shin splints?

Water. We never bothered bringing water with us because we didn’t when we were training at home. During our race there was one water/gatorade station set up at the half way point. Of course I grabbed gatorade and was sorry afterwards, it made me sick to my stomach. I need a hydration belt for next time!

Get there early. Not only do you need to find parking, but you also need to pick up your race kit. We were an hour early and we just barely got a parking spot. We had to ask around to find the race kit pick up station, luckily the lines weren’t too bad, and the volunteers were awesome!

-Make sure you get to the bathroom! There were probably about 20 port-a-potties at the starting line and there were huge lines for each. No one wants to be out on a 5k/10k/whatever run and have to find a washroom!

-Calm down, have fun. We got there and had no idea where to go. I was thinking, “We drove 2 hours, paid for the race already, and wouldn’t be able to get our race kit to actually participate.” I was stressed to say the least, I was good once we found it though. The other hard part was when the race actually starts and everyone is moving at once. I am not a fan of tight spaces with lots of people.

As a bonus tip – thank the volunteers. The race wouldn’t happen if it wasn’t for there help!


  1. Just wait, when you decide to do a longer distance those porta potties look so good, lol. Always check to see if there is a packet pickup prior to the event, that helps a lot. Always try to figure out the size of the event as well to judge how early you need to be to get a spot. I have been to some events where there were 20000 people registered to run (some even larger than that) but there were about 5000 parking spots because the coordinators did not plan well IMO! Congrats on the first 5k and yes – slow your pace down, it is your race and nobody else’s!

  2. I am really thinking about doing a 5k this fall. I will definitely remember these tips

  3. Oh wow! The bathroom thing. That is something I never thought of!

  4. Great tips all around – especially the bathroom, haha. My hubby and I have always been able to pick up our race packets the day before the race, so we haven’t had to worry about getting there early… so far.

    One thing I really wish I had had a better grasp on how to pace myself before my first race. I’d always run alone, and all the people around me really threw me off lol.

    • I would have picked up my race packets early but it was a 2hour drive… There is only one race this year that I can actually get my packet early for!

  5. I have a 5k run coming up in July but I was told I can walk it. I do not have any experience so will be sure to follow your tips!

  6. Did your race not offer water? Usually I don’t need a water belt for a 5K, but I found by experience to take one for longer races. Sometimes you need water before you get to a water station. Good job running your first 5K!

    • There was water but I found I needed more then just the one water station for my first 5k. Now that I have a few under my belt I find I don’t need water during 5ks!

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