Running your first 5K is a lot easier than you think. Why? Because whatever may be holding you back is just in your head. No matter what your fitness level, the thought of a race — especially if you've never done one before — can be intimidating. You may be unsure of what to expect, but have no fear!
Here are reasons to be confident about your first race:
Everyone is a beginner at some point. When lining up at the starting line, you'll notice that many "leisure" runners stick to the back of the line. Stand there as well!
People walk and interval run. Not everyone is going to sprint to the finish. You'll find the runners are at all fitness levels, shapes, sizes and ages. Walk when you must, and jog when you can. Remember, this is your workout and your goal — no one else's.
You're supporting the community or a non-profit. Many races are fundraisers. You're hitting one of your fitness goals and helping others at the same time.
Adrenaline will push you through. Races are exciting. People are cheering for you. You'll likely do better than you thought.
It's friendly out there. Some racers will encourage you and talk with you while running. People will give you water. They want you to do well.
You don't have to win first place. You'll feel great just from having completed the race.
Now, just get out there. Ask a friend to join you, and pick a race that means something to you. For example, if you have cancer survivors in your family, you may want to complete a race to benefit cancer research.
Also, many races also offer a designated walk or one mile "fun run." Do some research, sign up and see for yourself. You'll be doing your first 5K in no time!
Gwen Recinto is a writer, blogger and fitness instructor. She has been teaching for 10 years throughout South Jersey and Philadelphia. For fitness/nutrition tips and workouts, follow her on Twitter — @AllThingsGwen — and “fan” her Fit Friends page on Facebook. For inspirational articles, including how to live a healthy, happy and inspired life, visit her blog at AllThingsGwen.com.