Running is the most popular way of exercising in the World. With a reported 2 million people in the U.K and 10 million people in the U.S regularly taking themselves out for a daily or weekly jog. It's a simple activity that anyone can take part in for free and it's one of the rare activities that you can literally take at your own pace, fit nicely into your average working day and do in almost any environment.

If you are new to running and what to set yourself a challenge, the first step is to ask yourself the following question: "What do I want to achieve?” The answer to this will determine your training plan and keep you on track in achieving your goals.

If you want to take things a step, further and compete in races, be sure to know that your journey to the start line is where true personal transformation takes place. The weeks of pushing yourself both mentally and physically, overcoming obstacles and getting yourself to that start line makes the race itself a simple victory lap for those who have committed to the journey.

6 Week Absolute Beginners Guide to Running a 5K Race

If you want to take on the challenge of taking part in your first ever 5K race without ever having run before, take a look at our 6 Week Absolute Beginners Guide to Running a 5K Race.

Race Day Tips:

Don't Do Anything New: don't try new shoes, new food or new outfits on the day of your race. Make sure you have tried and tested everything to avoid unexpected toilet breaks, chaffing or blisters.

Check Logistics: plan well in advance your journey to the race, race registration, timetable of the day, toilets, places to eat.

Review the course: take a look at the course map if there is one (or visit the course before hand) to find out where the hills are, water stations and toilets. Map out your race strategy!

Sleep well: sleep is an essential part of recovery so make sure you get at least 8 hours the night before. Extra sleep impacts reaction time, mood and energy levels.

Reduce or cut out alcohol: don't drink the night before the race as it will most likely hamper your running

 

Hydration: hydration is an important part of your race (especially if you are doing a long distance), so work out your strategy beforehand whether you are carrying a water bottle, or using the drink stations along the route. Be warned though - try not to drink up to an hour before the race, as this will lead to early toilet breaks!

Get to the start line early: to reduce stress before the race, line up on the start line nice and early.