Five Ways to Prepare for a Fun Run

Participating in your first 5K fun run can prompt questions about how to prepare and what to expect.

Races don’t always have to be about achieving personal records. Sometimes it’s a nice change of pace to take on a themed run that douses you in colored powder. In these races, rather than going for gold, you can go for pink, blue, yellow or purple.

Unique 5K races, like fun runs, vastly differ from your typical race. Fun runs have a party-like atmosphere. You can enjoy camaraderie with friends, family and other participants as you partake in photo ops, music and dancing. And, of course, you can run or walk, too.

If it’s your first time, though, you may have a lot of questions about the event. From what to wear at your themed run to what to expect at the after-party, discover how to have the best fun run.

WHAT TO WEAR

When participating in the typical 5K, you might wear technical running attire. However, running-specific apparel isn’t necessary for this type of race. It’s highly recommended to wear clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty. This could be old clothes that you have in your closet or something new that you plan on using solely for fun runs. This 5K run is full of color, and it can really pop by wearing white clothing.

Your running shoes could get ruined with all the different colors getting thrown your way. Consider wearing an old pair that you no longer use for your running training. Some fun run veterans suggest getting an inexpensive pair that you won’t mind not wearing again. You can also have a dedicated pair of shoes that you can use for every fun run you participate in.

Other accessories to consider wearing include sunglasses and a bandana. Sunglasses can help keep powder from reaching your eyes. Bandanas are great for helping to block the powder from getting in your hair. If you have blond hair, this is especially helpful as the powder could dye your hair for a couple days.

WHAT TO BRING TO A FUN RUN

Aside from what to wear to a fun run, you should know what to bring. From before the run to afterward, there’s a list of essentials you might regret not having.

Avoid getting your car dirty by having a change of clothes or a towel to sit on. If you’re bringing clothes to change into, take a plastic bag with you to put your running attire in.

You don’t want to bring things on the run that could get ruined, like jewelry or a cellphone. If you do decide to bring a phone or camera to capture the moment, use a plastic bag or waterproof case to keep the powder out.

At some fun runs you can purchase additional bags of colored powder to throw. And don’t forget you’ll also need to have your ticket for the run.

DON’T FORGET TO STRETCH

With any physical activity, you should take the time to stretch beforehand. Whether it’s an intense workout or just a quick brisk walk. There are multiple stretches to consider both before and after the novelty race.

The best option for pre-race stretches are dynamic stretches. This type of stretching is active and uses continuous movements to warm you up. Use these five pre-run dynamic stretches as a guide.

After your fun run, take the time to recover with post-workout stretches. Static stretches require you to hold the position for at least 30 seconds. For a full leg post-race workout, use this five static stretches as a guide.

THE RUN

The fun run is far from your typical 5K race. In fact, you can throw normal race etiquette out the window. Since it’s not a competitive race, you don’t have to worry about being the first to cross the finish line. Music will be blasting at the different stations, so it’s not necessary to run with your own.

The energetic vibe makes it an easy race to run with family, friends, a bridal party or even people you meet at the event. To run with others you know, make sure to sign up for the same wave so everyone in your group starts at the same time. Even if you’re running alone, it’s not uncommon to strike up conversation with other participants.

While running, there are stations with the colored powder. Each station has a different color that is either thrown or shot out. Participants will do cartwheels or even roll on the ground to get fully covered in color.

To encourage taking in the atmosphere of the race, fun runs typically don’t record times or give out awards. If you’re all about competition, then this may not be the run for you. If you want to run instead of walk, try signing up for an earlier wave so there’s not as many people in front of you.

THE AFTER-PARTY

At the finish line is a festival. This dance party is a great way to continue the fun and wrap up the whole event. The upbeat music and atmosphere can create even more camaraderie between runners.

Fun runs are a great way to try something new in a relaxed and entertaining environment. For more great themed run advice, check out this obstacle course race checklist and 5K training plan.