Is running a 5K on your bucket list? Is this the year – in an effort to get outdoors and get healthy – that your family is hitting the streets and trails in support of worthwhile charities and family fun?

5kMany individuals, families, friends and co-workers are setting their sights on participating in 5K events around South Louisiana (click to find a race near you). There are plenty of opportunities ranging in difficulty, theme, setting and for various age groups, so pick your race or cause you’d like to support and get moving.

Once you sign up and make a training plan – whether your goal is to run the entire 3.1-mile event, walk or a little of both – you are well on your way to improving your physical fitness. But what else can you do to finish the race? recommends the following tips to be ready for race day:

  1. Plan on getting plenty of sleep the two nights before race day: Just in case pre-race nerves hit you the night before, planning to get plenty of sleep the two nights before the race will help ensure you are rested and ready to go on race day.
  2. Rest up the week of the race: Decrease your training routine to store up energy for race day. Keep it to two or three short runs the week of the race.
  3. Clear your calendar: Two days before the race, take a day off from all training and other activities for rest. The day before the race, do only a short run – about 20 minutes.
  4. Eat breakfast: On race morning, eat breakfast about two hours prior to the race. Something high energy and easily digestible is a good option, and be sure to hydrate. Consider something like a bowl of oatmeal with dried fruit or a bagel with peanut butter.
  5. Arrive early: Leave plenty of time for parking, a restroom stop, warm up and any other pre-race activities. Give yourself about an hour of time prior to the start of the race.
  6. Get moving: Warm up about 25 minutes prior to the race start and stretch out any tight muscles.
  7. At the starting line: The starting line will likely be crowded. If this is your first race, aim for the middle or back of the crowd to stay clear of runners who are setting a faster pace. Ready, set, go!



You’ve made it this far, so good for you. During the race, remember to pace yourself, stay positive and focused on your goal and, of course, breathe!



Celebrate your achievement and set your next goal or book your next race. While you are feeling good about your accomplishment is the best time to set new training goals and aim even higher for your next 5K.



Here are some potential programs that could help you on your way to completing your first 5K: