Running Your First 5K?
Focus on nutrition first.
The food you eat the night before will be the food in your system during your event. Try eating a dinner consisting of dark leafy greens such as spinach or kale, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli or cauliflower, carbohydrates such as sweet potato or yam, and a moderate amount of lean protein such as chicken or fish. On the day if your event, eat a good meal two hours before the event starts. A quick pre-race meal could be something as simple as a small sweet potato. If your event is early in the morning and you prefer to skip breakfast, then you will be fine as long as you ate a nutritious meal the night before. If you do get hungry before the race, opt for half a banana 15-30 minutes before the race.
Hydration is key when it comes to avoiding muscle cramps and premature fatigue. Make sure you start hydrating about 24 hours before your event start time.
Standing around too much before the event can lead to stiff muscles and cramping during the race. Warming up before the event can loosen you up and get rid of those pre-race jitters. Try a few minutes of easy jogging and some mobility work consisting of leg and arm swings in each direction.
Check your pace.
It's easy to start at a faster pace then you've been training for, but it's important to start slower than you think you're capable of. That pre-race adrenaline will wear off sooner than you think. Once you get halfway through the race, you can push harder if your body is feeling good. Part of the fun is testing your body's capabilities!