After the Race
Congratulations, you did it! Savor the excitement of finishing, no matter when you came in. Then after crossing the line, get something to drink. Within a few minutes of finishing, do a 5- to 10-minute cool-down jog to begin the recovery process. Stretch thoroughly immediately after the race. Doing so will keep muscle soreness to a minimum over the next day or two. And, of course, chat about the race with fellow runners.
When you get home, look at the flyers you collected at the race to consider when and where to run your next 5K (or maybe an even longer race). If you're like most runners, you'll be hooked on the exhilarating feeling of having successfully competed in the race.