7 Running Experts on How to Achieve 5K Race-Day Success

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5K Race-Day Tip No.5: Have a Mantra
Thad McLaurin

When climbing a tough hill or fighting off fatigue, having a mantra can help pull you through a tough stretch. Spend a little time before race day thinking of a few motivating mantras. 

Some good mantras include:

  • Can't stop. Won't stop.
  • The pain of discipline or the pain of regret.
  • Not everybody can do this!
  • I am because I run. I run because I am.
  • One step at a time.
  • Be fierce. Be bold.
  • Run strong. Be brave.
  • Go light. Feel brave.
  • Think strong. Be strong. Run Strong.
  • Make mom proud!

More: 5K Race-Day Tips From Thad McLaurin

5K Race-Day Tip No.6: Trust Your Training
Peggy Holt

There is an old farm saying that goes: "The hay is in the barn." What this refers to is that there is a time when a farmer cuts his hay, bales it up, drives it into the barnyard and stacks it in the barn. When this is done it is a huge sigh of relief. You know the animals will be fed for the winter.

The same applies to your race day. Your "hay" is in the barn. You have done all the training up to this point and have earned the right to celebrate your skills on this important day. Don't try to sneak in any more training or try something different at the last minute. Trust that your body and mind are ready to compete and enjoy the race.

More: 5K Race-Day Tips from Peggy Holt

5K Race-Day Tip No.7: Go for It All at the End
Peter Pfitzinger

At the end of a 5K, you can kick with reckless abandon; you get to stop soon.

To beat your rival, or someone next to you, in a 5K, the best strategy is to run an even pace and, if you're with him in the last half-mile, to run off of his shoulder until you're confident that you can make a sustained sprint to the finish. This will usually be with 100 to 200 meters to go. 

Avoid the temptation to start your sprint too early, or you may find your rival running off your shoulder with one more gear left.

More: 5K Race-Day Tips from Peter Pfitzinger

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