Spring is here for some of us, and you may be thinking of signing up for your first 5K. Participating in a 5K can be a great way to meet new people and boost self confidence. Unfortunately some people are reluctant to sign up for a 5K. It’s not that they don’t want to sign up, it’s usually because they are worried about being the slowest runner there or feeling out of place. Does this sound familiar?
First, you should know that you’re not alone. There are many people who have this same concern and it’s natural to be nervous. But I encourage you to not let this fear control you.
Why are you so afraid of finishing last? What’s the worst case scenario? I think that if you take some time to go through the scenarios, you’ll find that finishing last isn’t going to be the end of the world. However, if the fear of finishing late is still holding you back from signing up for an event, I have a couple suggestions.
Sign up with a friend. This is a great way to build on a relationship with a friend. You will both be going through similar experiences and will have each other to help along the way. This also will help prevent either of you from backing out individually.
Sign up for a well established/large 5k. At first this may seem a bit counterintuitive, but remember, there are many people who have this fear and at the end of the race you can’t all finish last. Additionally, people of all different experience levels will attend these events and I’ll personally guarantee you that there will be a group of people who walk the race from start to finish.
Send in your registration and commit to an event at least a month in advance. Not only will registration likely be cheaper, you should now have the race in your calendar and can plan around it so that no “excuses” interfere with race day.
Get some new running gear (just don’t tell your significant other that I told you to do so). Why get new gear? Maybe it’s a new shirt, or maybe it’s a new pair of shoes. Whatever it is, you’re more likely to be excited about training if you know you get to use this new gear.
If all else fails, watch a 5K once. Better yet, volunteer at a local 5K. This will help you see that they aren’t as intimidating as you’re likely making them out to be.
Participating in a 5K should be rewarding and not signing up for a fear of finishing last should not prevent you from achieving your goals.