Tips to Run a Successful 5K!

The Girls on the Run 5K season is just around the corner, and we know for many of our girls and their families, this will be their first time running the 3.1 miles to the finish. This can be nerve-wracking as well as exciting, so we’ve put together a set of tips to help prepare for the big day, and have a smooth journey to the finish line.


As with any running event, preparation is key! The following steps will get you to the start line feeling your best.

  • Hydrate the day before! While it is important to drink water before and after the race, making sure you are well hydrated the day before will help you feel your best on race day. 
  • Get plenty of sleep! Pre-race jitters are super common, but try to make sure to get a full night’s rest so you arrive at the start line feeling refreshed and ready to go. 
  • Laying out your clothes the night before is a great way to ease some of the chaos that can happen race morning. Knowing what you wear is one less thing to worry about as you get out the door. 
  • Eat a light breakfast, something with a good blend of carbs and protein to fuel your body. Make sure to eat 2-3 hours before the start of the race to allow your body time to digest before you start running. 
  • Double check the weather! The 5K is held rain, snow, or shine, so make sure you know what to expect and bring sunscreen and/or layers.
  • Come up with a plan of where you’ll meet up with your team or spectators after the race.

Race Day

  • Allow plenty of time for parking. No matter what race you’re running, you don’t want to be rushing to the start line, so make sure to give yourself an extra buffer to find a place to park and walk to the start corral. 
  • Use the bathroom before the race (facilities will be available on site)
  • Do some dynamic stretching to get your body warmed up. Some of our teams’ favorite moves are high knee marches, heels up running (buttkicks), toy soldiers, and squats. Save the static stretching for after the race, as it’s not good to do when your body isn’t warmed up yet.
  • Pace yourself, sip water occasionally, and most importantly, have fun!  


  • Hydrate and get your post-race snack
  • Do some stretches to keep your muscles from getting tight and sore
  • Most importantly, celebrate your accomplishment!