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I've decided to enter a race, my first running race ever. Although it's only a 5k I don't want it to have a negative impact on my running. My race is 8 weeks away are there suggestions or steps I can follow to ensure I'm prepared?

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Holy Smokes! That's an open ended question.
It won't have a negative impact, it will only be positive, I'm sure you will find.
As far as preperation...you need to be a little more specific. What do you want to know? Training Schedule? Racing strategy?
We have some great people who'll be glad to help, but we need to know a little more. How many miles are you running? How long have you been running? What is your average pace? What kind of goal time are you shooting for?
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If you have enough volume in your trianing miles, just keep that up until the week of the race. Then I'd recommend a short taper. Assuming a Saturday race, cut your Wednesday and Thursday mileage in half and either don't run at all on Friday or just a mile or two. Eat a moderate meal the night before so you're not porta-potty bound in the morning. Keep breakfast the same as you do for training or a little lighter. A banana, bagel and some sport drink work for me. Then about 20-minutes before the race, put in about 5-10 minutes of easy jogging, a couple accelerations toward the end to loosen up. Stretch some as you stand in the crowd at the start and when the gun goes off, keep your head to not go too quick. Keep a good steady pace for the first mile. During the second mile, try to pass a few people and not drop back. Then when you get into the last mile key on being just a few minutes to the finish and once you get within sight of it, get up on your toes and take it on home in a blaze o' glory
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Don't overthink your first race too much. Just have a blast!

jrjo gave great advice!
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Thanks jrjo that is the kind of info I'm looking for. When I started running 6 months ago I never thought I'd have the desire to enter a race. Thanks to many of the posts on this forum thats changed. I currently run 6 days per week 5-6 miles per day. My biggest fear is not being able to complete the distance, i know its only 3.1 miles.

thanks a again.
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Do not start out too fast. Pace is important.
Use this race as a guide for the future. I still learn stuff even after 200 plus races.
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Do not drink/eat anything you have not trained with during your race.
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I know it has been said before, but don't start out too fast. Stifle the impulse (and i'm one to talk because it has hurt me in nearly every race i've ever run. :) )
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:1:
All of the other advice that was given was great also. I use all my races to keep me motivated to keep on training. I still have to fight the problem of starting to fast at races. It does help if you start in the back of the pack. You will get more enjoyment as you pass those people who started out to fast at the start and are fading at the finish if you can keep yourself from starting out to fast.
Good luck and remember to post the race report so we can hear how you did.
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Amen, brothah. And don't dress too warmly. Good rule of thumb - dress for twenty degrees warmer than the actual temperature.
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I like to run the course prior to the actual race.
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