Girls on the Run 5k...Gear Up & Run On
Written by Renee Parks, Program Director
Whether the weather brings sunshine or rain (or both), the St. Louis Girls on the Run 5k will be an awesome celebration of girls giving it their all and accomplishing their goal alongside teammates, coaches, family and friends!
For the past 10 weeks, program participants have increased their physical stamina and confidence to be able to complete a 5k while also growing emotionally, mentally and socially with lessons empowering them to embrace who they are, make healthy relationships and value teamwork, and activate their power to positively shape their community.
To all planning to participate this Sat...let's embrace several lessons from GOTR as we Gear Up and Run On...
Fuel Your Healthy Pace by
- Eating healthy, balanced meals the day before (that includes veggies, fruit, protein and grains) and a light breakfast a couple hours before the 5k. Some of my favorite pre-5k breakfasts are: a piece of toast with nut butter on it, a banana with a Tbsp of nut butter smeared on it, or a bowl of oatmeal. Note: this is not the time to add anything new to your eating style, and there's no need to carb load for a 5k (that's meant for endurance events lasting at least 90 minutes).
- Getting plenty of rest -- get a good night's sleep and do not heavily exert yourself the day before (i.e., no running the day before, but a nice walk is a great way to keep your body loose and feeling good for the next day).
- Hydrating yourself with water leading up to the 5k and that morning, but don't go too crazy with water right before the 5k because it can leave you feeling bloated or even mess with your electrolyte balance.
Plug Into the Positive GOTR Cord! Stand tall and believe in yourself! Know that you can do it -- and you can choose the outlook you'll have before, during and after the event :)
Use positive self-talk -- and positively talk and cheer on your teammates and other participants. If you or others around you begin to think or make negative comments, try your best to reframe and support by saying, “I can tell you’re working really hard, and you are a strong individual! You CAN do this! I am proud of you for continuing to move forward!” Every step forward - whether walking, running, skipping or even dancing - is a step closer to achieving the goal.
Proudly wear your GOTR t-shirt (electric green for program participants and volunteer coaches; daisy for community participants), and accompany it with light, comfortable clothing that you're familiar with...race day is not the time to try a new pair of shoes, socks, etc.
Practice Good Sun/UV Safety - ultra-violent (UV) rays pose a concern whether it's a clear, sunny day or cloudy outside, so make sure you protect yourself by wearing a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.
I hope these tips aid in making this a positive, memorable event for you. Crossing the finish line is a defining moment for the girls…gaining confidence through achievement of a once seemingly impossible goal. And this finish line is just the beginning!