No matter what the distance is, the first run is said to be memorable for every runner. It is the race that marks the start of your journey as a runner and the one that will be your constant reminder of your humble beginning.
Here are the 4 things I learned from my First ever 5 km:
1. Don’t Come 5 Minutes Before Gun Start
If you have never joined any races before, it’s easy to assume that you can set foot at the event 5 or maybe 10 minutes before the gun start. And that was what I exactly did. “Why be early? I’m already wearing the race shirt so I just need to go straight to the starting line”, I thought.
If it’s your first time to run a race, you should know those race organizers are already there HOURS before gun start and they’re not being idle. They’ve probably lined up exciting activities for you to enjoy like Zumba and warm-up sessions several minutes before the race. There are also booths that you can check out before the race starts and even get the chance to meet other runners while waiting for the gun start. Aside from this, you might need to leave some of your things in the baggage counter and that can take a few minutes so.
This being said, it’s safe to come 30 minutes – 1 hour early before the gun start to give you enough time to do a proper warm up, enjoy the booths and activities set up by the organizers, and take some pics or videos for your Instagram stories!
2. Get Enough Sleep
Running on 0-4 hours of sleep on any given day is never a good idea. More so if it’s your race day! Oftentimes, the excitement and curiosity on how a first run gives newbie runners (and even experienced runners) a hard time to sleep the night before. We’re often too excited and/or too nervous to rest. But not getting enough sleep can affect your performance in the run. Personally, I felt more tired in the race compared to how I usually feel after running the same distance around UP.
3. Prepare for your Race Shots
One of the things runners look forward to during and after the race is getting that “running action shot”. With very good quality cameras and skilled photographers scattered on the running route, it seems quite easy to get the “perfect shot”… only it’s not.
After the run, I was so excited to look for my pic in the several albums uploaded because I saw how good the photographs of some runners are. But I ended up with only 1 picture out of 12 albums with around 400-600 pictures each! And it had to be a photo capturing my haggardness, unruly hair, and a not-so-flattering candid pose that shows just how relieved I was to see the finish line:
So I scanned the albums and observed what the common things were for those runners with good/ profile pic material pictures and it can be summarized by these three rules:
- Tame your hair
- Wear something unique or bright colored
- And know where the photographers are
It also wouldn’t hurt to think of a pose or two before you see the photographers.
4. Don’t chase after celebrities! Stick with your own pace.
I ran with Mond Guttierez and Bubbles Paraiso and they didn’t even know it!
You can add to my list of newbie mistakes the fact that I got so star struck with Mond Gutierrez and Bubbles Paraiso (they’re so fit! And tall! And good-looking!) to the point that I actually chased them even if I was late for the gun start. I kept a reasonable distance so I won’t look like a stalker but suffice to say that I paced myself with Mond and Bubbles even if I was already catching my breath in the last kilometer.
By the end of the race, I was smiling for finishing at what I think was a decent time (and getting free umbrellas from Michaela!) then but the moment I got home, I slept and woke up at 6 pm. I was wrecked. My feet and whole body were so sore until the next day. But because of this, I got my most important takeaway – To run at your own pace.
Fun runs are meant to be enjoyed and I did have a great time. I went home with a huge smile on my face, and a very nice finisher medal hanging on my neck. But I was lucky I only ran 5 km. With the mistakes that I did, I could have injured myself or caused blisters if I signed up for a 10 km or more. So to all new runners, make sure to physically and mentally prepare yourself for your run to get the most fun out of the experience!
thanks! will be running for the first time tomorrow at mcdo stripes run.