Race preparation

Training before the Event

  1. Be consistent in your training as regularity is what will build your aerobic fitness. Try to get out training two or three times every week, with the runs spread throughout the week. Try and be creative in finding times to train if you have a busy working and domestic life.
  2. Be progressive but realistic in your training – look for a weekly increase in volume/distance of 10% maximum.  Over six weeks this will enable considerable progress.
  3. Try to build up a weekly long run to about 45 or 50 minutes so that you can be confident that completing the 5k without stopping is a very realistic target and about 75 or 80 minutes for those running the 10K
  4. Take the first five minutes of every run really easy to ensure you warm up properly. This will reduce the risk of injury, make the training more effective, and increase the likelihood of you running as far as you plan on each run.
  5. Don’t overdress for your training runs. New runners invariably underestimate how quickly the body warms up
  6. Try and train off road as far as is practical as softer surfaces will reduce the risk of injury and leave less soreness the next day after running.
  7. Stretch for five to ten minutes before and after each run. Focus on the hamstrings; quadriceps; calves; gluteals; and hip flexors. Hold each stretch for 15-20 seconds and do each stretch twice on each side
  8. Do keep well hydrated with regular fluids through the day. If you do this, and particularly in the hour or two before you run, you needn’t worry about taking water with you on training runs of less than an hour.
  9. Don’t agonise over diet. If you are eating a healthy diet with a good proportion of carbohydrate then this volume of training won’t require any special factors.
  10. Whatever training you do, do ease down to half your usual amount in the week before the 5k. It takes about 10 days for the training effect to kick in, in terms of improved fitness, so the last week is just about maintaining what fitness you have developed.


Tips for race day


  1. Eat and drink your usual breakfast, sticking to content and amounts that you know from experience will not trouble you while you are running. Do keep topped up with water in the last hour or two, and particularly if it is a warm morning.


  1. Do allow plenty of time to get to the venue, find your bearings, store your clothes and belongings and have a few minutes easy running to warm up before the start.


  1. Do start at a sensible pace. If it’s your first organised event, then this will inspire you to push a bit harder than in your training, but be realistic in that you can’t be a different level of runner on the day.


  1. Do try to enjoy the event – you shouldn’t feel unduly nervous about anything if you have a realistic target that reflects the training you have done.


  1. Try and ensure you feel comfortable in your running. If you feel really challenged in the first 2.5k you have probably gone off too fast.


  1. Depending on how competitive you are by nature, you may wish to push yourself the last mile or so, so that when you finish you feel you have achieved your limit based on your current level of fitness.


  1. Once you have finished, do consider whether you are sufficiently motivated to enter and prepare for other events. With running, as with much of life, we enjoy things more as get better at them!


We hope you have a very enjoyable run and wish you the best of luck