Couch to 5K
52,962 members85,042 posts

Worried about my first race tomorrow - any advice please ?

I'm running my first race tomorrow, a 10k.

Now, I've done similar length runs two or three times before but always with some walking involved and my energy levels have been quite low recently so I've struggled a bit.

On Thursday this week I ran my first Handicap run with running club - it was a less than 3 miles, I think, and took me 31.09 minutes - I was second from slowest ! I ran all of it apart from about 10 yards about 3/4 of the way round. In view of how I've been feeling recently, I'd only set myself the target of running all of it so I was reasonably happy with that.

I've recently been reading one of Jeff Galloway's books and I'm wondering whether I would be better to approach tomorrow's race with planned walking stops, rather than running until I actually NEED to stop ?

Also, I've really struggled with my breathing recently - does that mean I'm probably trying to go too fast ? I did a short gentle session on the cross trainer this morning, specifically to try and practice "belly-breathing". It's hard to say whether that was any use or not - I didn't want to push too hard as I wanted to conserve energy for tomorrow.

Can you tell I'm getting anxious about it ? ;-)

15 Replies

Ok, I've checked and I think I ran 2.5 miles (barely over 4k) in 31.09 - that's slower than my graduation run :-(


I greatly admire anyone doing a 10K run I can still only dream of such a distance so well done on entering it. I'm not experienced to be able to advise you but what I would say is listen to your body, if you begin to struggle drop your speed and walk for perhaps a minute or two. You may well find though that with all the other runners you will be pulled along by their enthusiasm. Remember its a fun run, its for a good cause and most of all enjoy it. Please let us know how you get on and good luck.


Thank you, I think I need to make sure I concentrate on breathing and listening to my body, and not get distracted by whether or not I'm catching up with other people or not.


I know it's really difficult but it is really easy to think too hard and talk yourself out of something

You know you can do the distance, all you can do is make sure you get there early so you are not rushing about with your timing chip and the toilet queue and make sure you don't get tempted to dash off too fast - which is the hardest bit. You have done all the rest before.

If you have a record of your previous ones note the pace you went at and use it as your guide - that fast and no faster - doesn't matter what anyone else does. It doesn't matter if ypu walk a bit, no one except you is counting ;-)

Mist important though - enjoy it!

Good luck.


I'm ok at not starting off too quick, as long as I don't get tempted to try and match anyone else's pace. I did almost all my C25k runs on the basis that I wanted to be able to do a faster bit at the end so I could finish on a high - I'd like to manage that tomorrow, even if that just means doing the last 50 yards slightly quicker !

Thank you.


I was really nervous about my first race too! The advice about getting there early and starting off at a sensble pace really helped. I talked to a few runners and their friendliness put me at ease. The main thing is to do what you usually do; don't change anything. If you normally walk two or three times then do the same. During my 10k race there were lots of people run/walking, especially up the hills.


I've ran a few 10ks now (4 to be exact!) and for the first one i tried to run as much as I could then walked then ran some more etc.....

Now i kind of do it the Jeff way. When I was starting I was going too fast cause you just get caught up with everybody, that was making it too hard and I'd panic and think I couldn't finish. I can't honestly say I enjoyed it much.

Now I run a mile then walk 60 seconds, run to mile 2 then walk 60 seconds right through to the end. Overall I end up doing it quicker and mentally it feels more manageable. I run faster knowing that I'll get a walk break soon and I enjoy it so much more. I couldn't do it without my Garmin telling me when I'd reached the mile though.

The main thing it just try to enjoy it, it's your first race and you've done amazing to even attempt it. :)


Thank you Mary, I may try a similar approach, especially as it looks as if it may be sunny and hot ! Counting down now.....


I ran my first 10k race last weekend (the British 10k in London) and a lot of people were walking. I have been injured and ran strapped up (my thigh) and made the mistake of going for longer than I should have done before walking. I had got be being able to run for 10k solid, but the last couple of weeks was unable to do any training and so had lost a bit of fitness. I ran for the first 5k and then struggled through the race. I completed in 1.12.56 which was great, but I suffered! I'd advise that you do what you do, that you pace yourself well and don't let the atmosphere push you on beyond what you can do. I personally would factor in some walking stops - no shame in that at our point in our running 'career', that way you stay fresher for longer :-) Oh, and make sure that you run across the finish line ;-)


Thank you. I'm getting a bit nervous now - race starts at 1.00, it takes about an hour to get there so we're setting off soon. I'm a bit jittery :-(


It'll be great, I really enjoyed it and the sense of achievement is incredible - just relax, do your thing and have fun - you've done all the training, now go enjoy yourself. Who'd have thought a few months ago we'd be running around the streets in lycra for 10k at a time ;-)


Good luck! Hope you enjoyed it., Let us know how you got on


WooHoo - I enjoyed that. Will blog about it separately later on, still bouncing now :-)


Well done! Looking forward to reading your blog about it later / tomorrow.

I signed up for my first 10k this weekend which is coming up in 3 months time so plenty of time to get prepared but some of the tips in the comments here have been great! I'm glad a lot of people take walking breaks :)


Blog is here Mrqwest:

I loved it, still buzzing now :-)


You may also like...