Last Updated on November 8, 2014 by Heather Hart, ACSM EP, CSCS
Step 2: For the 24-12 hours pre race: nurse gnarly hangover. Do not rehydrate properly, because your stomach can’t handle the thought of…well..anything. Same goes with food. Don’t bother fueling. Lay on the couch all day with your sick kids.
Step 3: Laying on the couch all day will give you a nice boost of energy around, oh, 9:00 PM, so be sure to stay up late. TOO late.
Step 4: Wake up super early. Early enough that you have about 3 hours to sit around and mull over your nervous energy.
Step 5: eat nothing more than a banana for breakfast. That nervous energy won’t allow for much more than that anyway. And no, still no hydrating!
Step 6: Be sure to pick a race that has NO shade on the course, make sure the sun is out without any cloud cover, and be absolutely certain that the temperature reaches at least 80 degrees before the start.
Step 7: Consider 3/10ths of a mile a “good enough” warm up. It’s too hot out to warm up anyway.
Step 8: When the gun goes off, run like a bat out of hell. Pacing shmacing. If you look down and see anything slower than a 5:30 min/mile pace on your Garmin, you are going too slow. Hold this pace for, oh, a quarter mile, until your body starts screaming “yeah, right” and you drop pace significantly.
Step 9: When you hit the water stop, and grab a big cup to pour over yourself, remember, you have a sweat wicking visor on. Therefore, throw the entire contents of the cup at the top of your forehead, ensuring no water ACTUALLY touches your skin nor does any good in cooling you off.
Step 10: Congratulations, at this point you should be walking the course, letting people pass you left and right, reveling in the dizziness and chills that are likely the onset of heat exhaustion. Be sure to really note how HEAVY your legs feel, and the fact that your Garmin is constantly beeping at you to “go faster”. Nothing says “bad 5k” like adding a minute to each one of your three miles, and walking within 200 yards of the finish line. Of a 5k!
Step 1: Pick a race that celebrates something important, such as appreciating our Military personnel, past and present, and all that they do for us.
Step 2: Meet up with friends, new and old. A run is always better when shared, even if you don’t run the same pace, you are still there together.
Step 3: ENJOY the fact that you are running. What is it they always say? A bad day of fishing running is always better than a good day at work? Or something like that. You are doing what you love. So LOVE IT, even if it’s really hard today. Push. Persevere. Giggle as you think of your sister, who texted you to “pretend Shaun T is chasing you”. Tell yourself to “Dig Deeper”, for Shaun’s sake.
Step 4: Get really excited when you cross the finish line and a veteran hands you a finisher’s medal. Unexpected bling for simply finishing a local 5k? YES PLEASE!
Step 8: Try not to tear up when aforementioned age group winner new friend, who lives a thousand miles away, and you’ve never met in person until that morning, reminds you that YOU were the one who first suggested and encouraged her to take up running.
Step 9: Beam with pride over having the worlds sweetest babies, when you come home, walk in the door, pick up your 2 year old and he exclaims excitedly: “Oh mama, you wond TWO medals, gweat job esercising!!!”
Step 10: Thank God for your health, your strength, your LEGS, and an amazing sport that has brought so much good to your life!
Heather Hart is an ACSM certified Exercise Physiologist, NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), UESCA certified Ultrarunning Coach, RRCA certified Running Coach, co-founder of Hart Strength and Endurance Coaching, and creator of this site, Relentless Forward Commotion. She is a mom of two teen boys, and has been running and racing distances of 5K to 100+ miles for over a decade. Heather has been writing and encouraging others to find a love for fitness and movement since 2009.
Rose @ Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri
What a great post. I was laughing, then smiling. COngrats on being an inspiration.
Great job girl. And your welcome for your freedom. (8 yr Army vet).
Hilarious … and AMEN!
S Club Mama
awww your little guy is so adorable!!
This was great! Loved the whole thing! Happy Weekend to yoU! 🙂
Love this! Good job exercising! 🙂
We always scream with excitement whether if we win or not. LOL.
Kurt @ Becoming An Ironman
great post!! thanks…and great job!
LOVE the 2yo’s comments! Great tutorials; I think I wanna run a bad 5k later this summmer. Ha ha. Congrats on your groups’ sweeping of the age groups!
What a sweet baby. Gweat job!
this is so great! thanks for sharing. i’ve always wanted to run a 5k and love hearing the stories of those who have ran before me.
You are too funny! Congrats on a great race! 🙂
You are just great! That is all I have to say. I’m bummed you are not coming to quassy!
Too funny – great post!
I can run a bad 5k in one single step: I just go out when it’s hot. Failure garanteed!
Success is another matter. That’s just something that happens. Or not. I wish I could learn to control my succesfull runs.
What an excellent post… it reminds me that it is ok to have a bad run.
Make it a great day!
I love how real you were! We all have bad races but you found the humor and the good in it! Way to go!
I just stumbled across your blog. OMG you are amazing! Great blog!!
Wonderful post! I love reading your blog~Your blog was the first blog I started following. You are such an inspiration to me!
I have already done it the bad way a couple of times. I will try it the good way..you know…just for a change.
Nice to meet you!!
Life as a Convert (Khourt)
Congrats on your great race and on your friends AGs!!
What?!? Wine doesn’t count as carb-loading?
Good job in your race. 🙂
Haha, loved the format of this post…you’re cute!
So glad I found your blog, I was looking for more runner type blogs and this is one of my loves (just ran my first marathon a few days ago).
I have a 5K on Sunday I am dying to PR and a Girls Night Out on Saturday- I will keep this post in mind when mulling over the cocktail menu Saturday night! Thanks!
Love this post! Great way to turn your thoughts around and see the positive. I really love the part about being a running inspiration to your new friend. How awesome is that!
Those 10 steps to a Bad 5K can work for a good 5K, except you need to be 20 years old and in killer shape to pull it off. 🙂
LOVE IT! LOL Thanks for the giggle!