5 Running Tips For 5K Success

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run a half marathon in 2 hoursRunning tips for 5k success

There are numerous running tips for 5K success out on the internet.

The value in reading them all is you get numerous ways of how to run a 5K more effectively and hopefully earn you a personal best quicker.

That being said, we are in a sport where results do not come overnight and I think it is safe to say that this is the process it takes to be successful at anything.

No shortcuts

I have always said that there are no shortcuts in this sport.

It doesn’t matter if you are a 5K or marathon specialist it takes a focused mind and and unwavering attitude to get results in this sport.

You could be wanting to set a new personal best for the 5K distance, run your very first 5K or seeking to lose weight.

Unfortunately, there are no easy ways to making any of this come about.

I am certain if you follow these 10 running tips for 5K success you will run your future 5K races more successfully than if you just jump in with reckless abandonment.

Have Fun

Don’t ever lose this number one ingredient when it comes to preparing for races. The moment you get so serious in your training where preparing becomes more of a chose than it does an enjoyable experience you will never improve.

Far too many athletes get too carried away with worrying about every little detail of their training that they never stop to enjoy the little things that mean the most in the end.

Keep in mind there are people in the world who don’t even have the luxury you and I have to run.

“If you are not enjoying training, stop all anaerobic training. Go out for a long jog, so slow that the old ladies with shopping baskets go past you. Do that until you start to enjoy it!” -Arthur Lydiard

We get bent out of shape if we miss our racing goals when there are others who would give anything to be able to do run, period so have fun with your training, never lose sight of that.

Practice race pace

The shorter the race, the more speed is involved and the more anaerobic it becomes.

Anaerobic simply means that the activity or race in this case involves a higher oxygen demand as opposed to say walking or jogging.

It doesn’t take much to go out and jog. This is an aerobic or an activity that involves much less oxygen transport and delivery to your working muscles. Walking is much more manageable on a physiological standpoint than racing in a 5K or marathon race.

The trick is trying to learn your goal pace. If you can practice the pace you want to hold for the 5K distance it will make the race itself feel more like a training run and I am certain you will create a great deal of confidence when race pace feels more like a training run.

Don’t start off too fast

Proper pacing is probably the most important running tips for 5K success I can share.

The idea that you can’t lose contact with the leaders has cut more throats than it has saved. -Arthur Lydiard

One of the biggest mistakes runners make, especially in the shorter races where you have less time to correct a mistake is running too fast, too early.

This is common and don’t beat yourself up if this has happened to you in the past.

The 5K gives the athlete far less time to correct pacing mistakes than longer races such as the half to full marathon events.

This goes back to implementing a training plan that helps set you up for success to handling the pace you want to hold for the 5K distance.

If you want to hold 8 minute mile pace for 3.1 miles going out the first mile overly excited in 6.45 is a disaster waiting to happen.

If the fastest you have trained is 8.15 pace how will trying to maintain 6.45 mile pace add up in the end in a race?

Pace yourself wisely

Learn to pace yourself early. It is far better to run slower the first mile and run 10 seconds per mile faster the last two miles than to go out 30 seconds too fast the first mile and crash and burn in the later stages of the race.

It is not only painful but puts added mental stress on yourself after the race when you start asking yourself all the meaningless questions.

Is this goal I have too demanding?

Do I have what it takes to hit this fitness goal?

Am I asking too much of myself?

or a personal favorite of mine…do I have the talent to achieve this goal?

Train and pace properly and you can do away with the meaningless chatter altogether. Capiche?

Find A Mentor Or Coach

I can’t stress this enough.

An experienced coach or mentor can help you see things in a more meaningful light than if you were trying to do it all alone.

I always wanted to break the 2.22.00 marathon barrier and would have never achieved that short-term goal if I didn’t have a coach that showed me what I was doing wrong all of the years I spent training too easy to warrant the results I was seeking.

Do you have to have a coach in order to run a 5K successfully?

That all depends but you will most certainly set yourself up for success if you find someone that knows how to set up training in such a way to yield you the results you are seeking.

Far too often we feel we are doing it the right way. We train endlessly and continue to miss our goals. Why is that?

Less junk more quality

running habitPerhaps, we haven’t run enough mileage at the proper paces.

We may not be eating enough iron rich foods or getting enough sleep.

A coach can help motivate the athlete and set a schedule the runner can follow that will help in distributing the effort in the 5K more successfully.

If we go into any endeavor without a plan it makes the process seem more daunting than it really needs to be.

Keep it simple silly!

Eat properly

get enough sleep and hydrate well

Ok, that was three tips in one but I don’t want to overload you with more than you need at this time. I will be writing a series of articles on running tips for 5K goal setting in the coming weeks.

Watch your diet

I can’t say enough about this. Please pay attention to the amount of iron rich foods you are taking in.

I was diagnosed with anemia back in 2007 and it cost me royally during my workouts and racing.

There was no explanation for what was going on and it took a Boston Marathon champion to help me to understand how important a role iron plays a role in athletic performance.

If you run low on iron it doesn’t matter if your goal is to run a 13.00 5K or a 30.00 5K.

You can have all the motivation in the world but your body will not be able to utilize oxygen as efficient as it needs to be without healthy levels of iron in your body.

The problem is the body doesn’t produce it.

Iron supplements

You have to ingest it either via your diet or through taking iron supplementation.

I take a 65 milligram tablet per day along with Vitamin C as it help iron absorb in the body more efficiently.

You can’t do one fundamental right like proper physical training and neglect all the other variables that you must focus special attention on to reach your full potential.

The problem lies in the fact that many deserving, hard working athletes miss the mark because they fail to take all areas of preparation as seriously as they should.

Don’t be motivated specifically because you read about a great runner who did something you want to do.

Have confidence in yourself

Be inspired by yourself and what you have lying within you because we all can do far more than we have achieved at this point in our lives.

If others can do similar things with our bodies and performances who is to tell you and I that it isn’t possible for us.

I hope these few running tips for 5K running success have help in someway. Don’t give in on

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3 thoughts on “5 Running Tips For 5K Success

  1. I think that all too many runners forget about number 1 – having fun with their running. We get so caught up in seriously chasing numbers 2-5 that running stops being fun sometimes, Which is unfortunate, because for most of us running is not how we will make our living, it is something we do for re-creation (sp on purpose) and to challenge ourselves to be better.

  2. Thanks Harold and so true brother. I really try to cater to ALL levels of athletes here. Life and this sport is more than just bragging about times run, places achieved, some people just want to learn HOW to run, enjoy the activity or LEARN period and that is just as beautiful as hearing about someone who qualified for the Olympic Trials or set a world record, THAT is what is lacking far too often. Keep training well my friend.

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