XENIA — So you’ve done your training for your first 5K — the best race distance for first-timers. As your race day approaches, you may have some questions and concerns about what to expect on race day. If you’re fairly new to running, here are some tips for your first race day.

1. Pick up race packet

Beginning at 7:30 a.m. pick up your race bib, goody bag and t-shirt, if your registration included one deadline was April 6.

2. Don’t overdress

A good rule of thumb: Dress as if the weather is 15 degrees warmer than it is. That’s how much you’ll warm up once you start moving along the course. If it’s cold, you can always wear warmer clothes while you’re waiting for the race to start. Many races offer a gear check where you can store your bag with extra clothes for before and after the race.

3. Choose your pre-race food wisely

Eat a meal at least one hour prior to the start of the race. Choose something high in carbohydrates and lower in fat, fiber, and protein. Stay away from rich, fatty, or high-fiber foods, as they may cause gastrointestinal distress.

4. Get there early

Arrive at the race site early to make sure you get a parking spot. Regardless of whether you’re driving there or not, you’ll also need time to pick up your number, take a warm-up jog, and use the bathroom (the lines may be long).

5. Line up properly

Don’t line up near the front of the starting line. Faster, more seasoned runners don’t like to weave around newbie (and likely slower) runners or walkers at the start of the race. Some races have corrals based on estimated pace or post pace signs. If not, ask runners nearby their anticipated pace. If it’s faster than yours, move further back. It will be easier to fall into your pace if you’re around people that are the same speed as you.

6. Bring support team

Invite your friends and family members to support you. Ask them to stand near the finish line so they can cheer you on at the end.

7. Aim to finish

Don’t put pressure on yourself to achieve a really fast time for your first race. Finishing the race and enjoying the experience are excellent goals for a first-timer.

Final 5K Training Tip

You made it. Race Day is this Saturday, April 14 at the Xenia YMCA. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and the 5K begins at 9 a.m.

During this final week of training, you should start with a brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3: Jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes).

It’s not too late to register for the Spring Has Sprung Healthy Families 5K Run/Walk on April 14. Online registration will continue through Friday, April 13. Registrations will continue to be accepted up until the start of the race on Saturday morning. Registration is $20 per person. Groups of 10 or more can still get a discount.

Register online now at www.speedy-feet.com through Friday, April 13 or print out a registration form with your payment by visiting www.gcph.info and then drop it off at Greene County Public Health, 360 Wilson Drive or bring it with you the day of the race. For further questions, please call 937-374-5683 or email [email protected]. Training Tip brought to you by www.coolrunning.com. and www.running.about.com.

Healthy Lifestyles Corner