So you’ve signed up for a 5K and you’ve put in tons of hours training and logging miles, and now race day is drawing close. Participating in a 5K is nerve-wracking, exhilarating, exciting and rewarding all at the same time and there are things you can do to make race day a little bit easier on you. Follow these three tips to make sure that your feet are completely ready on race day.
Relax Your Feet
In the days leading up to the race, you want to get your body, and your feet, as much rest as possible. Of course, everyone is different, and if you feel that you can go for your normal run without overdoing it, then feel free to head out before race day. However, most people find that taking it easy and staying off of their feet the day before the race is the best course of action. You do want to keep your legs loose, but you don’t want to put too much stress on your feet right before the big day.
Select the Proper Shoes
Taking part in a 5K means that you’re going to be spending a lot of time on your feet and your feet will have to deal with a great deal of force on race day. The shoes you choose and the socks you wear are the only things that stand in between your feet and the ground, so you want to be sure that you pick carefully. A quality pair of running or walking shoes can last anywhere from 400 to 500 miles, and using a worn-out pair for your 5K won’t provide the support that your feet need. When selecting your running shoes, look for shoes with insoles that are designed to support your arches. You want a snug fit in the heel and across the foot, but a little room at the toes is a good thing. Heading to a runner’s supply store can help you find the best pair of shoes for your feet and your 5K needs. On the day of your 5K, wear socks made with moisture-wicking material so that you avoid hot, sweaty feet that can cause blisters.
Stretch and Massage
Before the race, you want to be sure that your feet are totally ready to go. During the 5K, your arches will be doing a lot of contracting and expanding and proper stretching helps your feet perform with less stress. One stretch that can help your feet is to sit on the ground with your feet in front of you, wrap a towel around your foot and gently pull on the towel for 10 to 15 seconds. Do this two or three times on each foot before you head to the starting line. After you’ve crossed the finish line, give your feet the rest they deserve and show them some love with a massage. You can roll a tennis ball around with your foot or use your hands, but no matter what method you choose, massage helps circulation and feels heavenly after a great race.
Doing a 5K is a great way to be social, get some fresh air and to exercise all at the same time. Knowing how to get ready for a race in the days leading up to it, the night before and the day of the race gives you the smoothest and most enjoyable 5K race. Properly preparing your feet for a 5K can help you complete your race in comfort and with great success.