When I went from triathlon to tackle running races, my longest distance mostly in triathlon off the bike was 10k

There was a lot to learn about running.  Because just running was very different from training for triathlon and running off the bike.

One thing I learned the hard way at first when I started to do 5k races was what happens when you go out TOO FAST.

Your legs don't last.  I felt like a super hero for the first mile then the last mile my legs would feel tired and tangled and my speed got slower.   It's really hard not to take off fast, the fast girls could take off fast because they were used to the distance and had developed the stamina to stay with the pace.

So that was when I realized I needed to hold back, watch that my heart rate did not get TOO HIGH and pace myself for the first mile!  Gather momentum for the next mile then the last mile I felt so much better and got faster not slower.

I started finishing strong. Stronger 

Then my next plan was to keep working on fitness, do a little bit of extra tempo work but not to much.  Make sure I turned up to these short fast races with a few good nights sleep and less running they days before, rested.

Because 5k racing is tricky, it's fast and fun but you really need to be fresh to stay in the game if you want to race.  If you want to have fun that's awesome too and you can just run and chat and laugh as you do.

After a while I got the hang of it.

I got more confident, was able to go out faster and hang on to the first pack.  Then sit there and start making moves once some runners fell off the pace and only a few of us were left to battle it out.

In all honesty I was not really designed for 5k racing but racing fast over shorter distances over the years has always helped my racing over the longer distances as I got older and stronger and began to be able to handle the longer racing.

A couple of times with good pacing, strategy and making the moves at the right time I managed to win a few big 5k races and they were pretty exciting days for sure when everything you learn and apply goes to plan.

Whether it's 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or last (I have come last once and it was kinda fun as I got extra cheers so it was not so bad at all) or 10th I always wait to shake the next persons hand at the finish line or even the person in front of me.  

A sign of respect, a competitive spirit and sportsmanship is something I learned from watching my peers that were much faster than me in my early days and even now at 49 I still shake hands at the finish line every time.

So go shake out those legs, train consistently but smart then when you get to the end of your 5k...