8 Answers to Common 5K Race Questions

You signed up for your first 5K race, 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.

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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.

Are you a treadmill trainer or an outdoor runner? Here's why you should love the track.

More: 4 Ways to Make Treadmill Workouts Fun

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-Shirt to 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.

Run a perfect race with these raceday tips from seasoned runners and professionals.

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.

More: How to Maximize Your Speed Workouts

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.

Dress appropriately for any weather with this handy guide.

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.

More: Fueling for Race Day

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