6 ways to prepare for your first 5k

This post is brought to you by Nike London.

So, you’ve signed yourself up for your first 5k run, or you’re thinking about doing it, but now you’re freaking out. Don’t worry that’s a totally normal response, especially if you’ve never done a 5k before, but it’s actually way less daunting than you think. We’ve put together some ways to prepare for first 5k so you’ll ace it and maybe even becoming addicted to it!

1. Don’t panic

5ks are becoming more and more popular in London and rightly so, because they’re the most accessible type of races for beginners. 5k is a distance for all ages and abilities, so first things first, don’t turn it into this crazy scary thing because it is a totally achievable goal.

In fact, there are plenty of 5ks that are more fun and welcome participants to walk, jog or run, so for first timers there’s literally no pressure! Some races like the Hackney 5K also have more of a festival feel so it’ll get the good vibes going and you can actually enjoy the run. If you’re still talking yourself out of it, here’s some ways to get over those barriers.

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2. Download an app to help you out

We all need a helping hand sometimes, and when we’re new to running and training sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. The good news is there’s plenty of handy apps that’ll help you get to where you want to be, in time for your 5k. Apps like the Nike + Run Club app helps you track your runs and get coaching tailored around you.

3. Let your body rest

Once you’ve got well and truly into your training it might feel like you can’t be stopped and sometimes there’s a temptation to over-exert ourselves. But, it’s so important that we remember our bodies need rest and, in fact, rest is actually a vital part of training because our bodies become stronger when we do. For those of you who are also juggling uni work, part-time jobs and having a social life, pushing through with a run when we don’t feel our best may do more harm than good. Figuring out when and how to rest is all dependent on your level of fitness and a bit of soreness after a run can be expected. Oh, and remember a rest day doesn’t have to mean lying in your bed all day, it can mean a lighter workout.

4. Eat the right foods

It’s pretty obvious, but whatever you eat is going to fuel your workouts so you want to be eating the right food to make your training as valuable as possible. Also, for a lot of people signing up for a 5k is a step towards wanting to get fitter, so it’s also the perfect time to improve your nutrition. There are certain foods such as bananas, oats, whole-grain pasta, eggs and yoghurt that have become staples in runners diets, that you can incorporate into your own. If you’re looking for something more specific there are plenty of great meal plans online which you can follow or use as a guide to make your own.

5. Don’t go it alone

Getting your friends involved is one of the best ways to keep motivated because if you’ve agreed on a time to train or a certain meal plan to follow, you’re way more likely to actually stick to it if you have someone else to account to. It’ll also make race day so much more fun when you have a full squad along for the ride!

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6. Find your flow and have fun!

At the end of the day, it’s all about having fun! There’s no point overthinking things or comparing yourself to others, because there will also be people slower and faster than you. When you’re heading to your first race just put all that training into action and enjoy the day for what it is.

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Oh, and don’t forget if you’re looking to run a 5k that’s channelling good vibes, make sure you sign up to the Hackney 5k! There will be food stands and activities going on in the park and you’ll get a medal and an exclusive t-shirt. Winner!

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