WDF and ET 5K’s August 29

PGRC’s Women’s Distance Festival 5K and Estimated Time Run 5K are this Saturday at the Greenbelt Youth Center (note the change in location from previous years).  Online registration is still open (closes Thursday at midnight).  You may also register race day for a slightly higher fee.

This year, the overall, masters, and age group winners in the women’s 5K will receive $5-$25 gift certificates from Pacers Running Stores.   Also, there will be LOTS of random prizes for all runners; and fantastic prizes for the Estimated Time Run winners.

Here are a few racing tips (feel free to add your own in the comments section)–

1. Arrive early.  Allow plenty of time to get your race number, use the bathroom, warmup, etc.  

2. Dress for the weather.  Think tank tops (or your PGRC singlet), shorts, wicking materials. 

3. Warm up.  This is especially important for shorter distances like 5K.  Get your body ready to go at race pace when the “gun” goes off.   So many runners neglect the warmup, going straight from the car to the start line.  Spend some time walking, then jogging slowly, then some short but faster paced running.  If it is your first 5K, you might just walk for 10-20 minutes.  But if you are trying to race at your best (whether that is a 6 minute pace or an 11 minute pace), a good warmup is essential.

4. Line up properly.  Put yourself in the proper position so that you can go out at your race pace as soon as possible, but without impeding faster runners behind you.  Here are the results from last year’s WDF and ET runs so you can see where in the pack you should be for the start.

5. Pacing.  Hopefully, you’ve practiced your goal pace so your body knows what to do when you start the race so you go out fast enough but not too fast.   Even pacing (every mile at the same pace) is a good goal.  If it is very hot and/or humid, your pace will be slower (and so will everyone else’s!), so adapt accordingly– don’t be a slave to your running watch.  Of course, if you are feeling good and your pace feels too easy, pick it up a little. 

6. Racing.  If you are trying to run your best, 5K is a really tough distance.  Most of the race will be really really hard, but at least the pain will be over relatively quickly!  Think of 2-3 strategies ahead of time for how you will deal with those feelings of wanting to quit that will come during miles 2 or 3 of the race.  For example, I use mantras/reminders such as “run relaxed,” “relax your shoulders,” “run tall.”  You can also focus on the runner ahead of you, imagine they are pulling you along with a rope.  Or focus on the race in pieces (you can divide into time segments, or landmarks on the course).  

7. Finish strong.  You will be surprised at the extra gears you have in the last few hundred meters of the race (esp if you’ve been practicing on the track).  Cross the line, catch your breath, grab some water, then come back and cheer on the runners who are still racing.

Hope you have a great race!



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