>Running 101>First 5K race need advice
Rick "The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare." - Juma Ikangaa "I wanna go fast." Ricky Bobbyrunningforcassy.blogspot.com
Life time runner wannabe
It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.
One day at a time
This is only part of the answer, but be sure to limit your food intake the morning of the race to easily digested items. Would not advise eating anything containing fat or protein. Peanut butter/almond butter are the worst - they can take >4 hours to digest. Personally, I wouldn't eat anything; instead, I would take my favorite gel (Clif Shot gels).
The 5K is a very intense race over a short distance. I've found that a really long warmup prepares me to run very hard with minimal perceived effort or pain. As an experienced runner, I warm up for as long as 60-120 minutes, keeping my heart rate under 67% for the first 30 minutes, then no higher than about 72% for the remainder of the warmup. In this way, I'm able to run the last 30 minutes at over 90% of max heart rate (a very hard effort) without suffering in the least.
I've tried to find other runners who've experienced the magical secret of the ultra-long warmup. So far, the only ones I've found are Bob Deines, former US 50-mile record holder and 16th-place Boston finisher, who warmed up for 12 miles before a track 10,000m, and six-times Tour de France winner Eddy Merckx, who warmed up for 30 easy miles before each Tour stage.