How To Dress For a 5K + 5K Rules

How To Dress for a 5K

How To Dress for a 5K

So you are getting ready for your first 5K and have NO idea what to wear. Here are my suggestions from what I have learned over the years.

  • Hopefully you have been training (outdoors) for a while and have experienced different temperature levels. Try to remember what you felt comfortable in and what drove you nuts. Do you like being cool while you run/walk or do you need to be warm/hot?
  • Don’t wear ANYTHING new on race day. I made this mistake a couple of weekends ago. Wore a new tank top, new sports bra, and a running skirt (had only worn it a couple of times). Not a good idea to break in new clothes or shoes during a race.
  • Invest in some body glide. Just do it. You will need it.
  • A tip I read said dress for 25 degrees warmer than the temp at race start. This is the rule that served me best. When I wore the outfit described above, start temp was 62. So, adding 25 made it 87. That’s why a running skirt and tank top. Yes, I know it was November, but dress for the temps – not the calendar.
  • If you are carrying items with you, know how you will carry them. SPIbelt, flip belt, hand, pocket, whatever – make sure you have practiced running/walking like this.
  • Don’t forget sunglasses – you might need them. Same goes for gloves.
  • Figure out what you will do about your hair – need a hair band, a hair tie, etc.
  • And finally, don’t worry too much about what you wear – you will see a little of everything on the race course. Wear what works for you!
Brooks Glycerin 11

My Unwritten 5K Rules

Having done well over 50 5Ks in the past 3 years, I have learned a LOT about the road race circuit. Here are the “rules” as I see them:

  • If you can run the 5K in under 20 minutes, start on the front row.
  • If you are walking the 5K, be on the last row.
  • Walkers should stay to the right so that runners can pass you on the left.
  • It is perfectly acceptable to throw your water cup on the ground, but if you stand there and drink the water (a) get out of the way and (b) throw your cup in the trash can.
  • Don’t run anyone over – and if you do, stop and help them up.
  • When you cross the finish line – KEEP MOVING. If you stop, someone is likely to run into you. This is also true on the race course – if you have to stop, move to the right and look behind you.

Be sure to check out Your First 5K: Three Steps To Success. If you are ready to start training for a 5K and don’t know where to start, check out my Walk Your Way to a 5K program.

How to Dress for a 5K! Plus some 5K Rules You Should Know! Click To Tweet

What tips for dressing would you add? What rules of 5Ks do you follow?



4 Responses to “How To Dress For a 5K + 5K Rules”

  1. Love these! I definitely agree with the dress for weather 25 degrees warmer than it actually is! I always heat up so much when I run! I don’t even bother bringing gloves anymore, even when its 30 degrees, because 5 minutes into my run I will be wanting to get rid of them, and who wants to carry gloves they aren’t wearing in their hands?!