If you're gunning to PR, make sure your race morning goes off without a hitch. Check out the weather forecast in advance, lay out your gear the night before and choose an easy-to-digest breakfast. Arrive at the race start with plenty of time to use the bathroom and get in position.
You may also want to consider walking or running a mile as a warm-up to get your muscles primed for the effort.
Break Up the Race
Once the gun goes off, break up the race into manageable chunks. A 5K is short enough that you can maintain a fast pace for the entire race, but at the same time, you don't want to burn up all your energy in the beginning.
Focus on staying in control for the first mile and avoid weaving around other runners as much as possible (wasted energy). For mile two, it's time to dial into your race pace. Put your head down and grind it out. For the last mile, you should feel like you're in the red zone—now is the time to dig deep. For the last .1-mile, give it everything you've got!
Throughout the race, focus on running the tangents, or the shortest distance possible, when rounding corners and navigating the course. Running even an extra .05-mile on race day could make all the difference when it comes to a PR.
Have a Mantra
Because you'll be spending so much of the race running hard, it can be helpful to have a positive message or phrase in mind.
Keep it short and affirmative, something like: "Strong and fast," or "This is what you've trained for."
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