If you are new to running, 3.1 miles might be a bit of an overwhelming distance to run. It certainly seems far, but with the proper training, fuel, and hydration, you'll likely surprise yourself on race day! If this is your first 5k race, and you're not used to running a lot, start out slow. The last thing you want to suffer through is physical or mental burnout, or worse, an injury.
Start by trying to run three days a week. If you've never run before, make running just one mile your goal. After the first week, increase by half a mile the next week. Over the course of six weeks, you'll have worked your way up to running over three miles straight. If you already have a running base built up, vary your distances throughout the week. Shoot for a longer run once a week, (5 to 6 miles). On the shorter distance runs (anywhere from 1 to 4 miles), try focusing on increasing pace. Getting your legs used to a faster leg turn over will better prepare you for race day. Once you have successfully built your base and worked your way up to running at least three miles without stopping, start thinking about incorporating some speed work (best completed if you have access to a public running track) and tempo workouts (in which you break down your miles into three sections, starting off slower to warm up, with the middle miles at an increased tempo/pace, and then backing down on speed during the last section of miles).
Carbs are crucial to fueling your 5k. But so are proteins and fats! Your body functions best (and that includes running) when it is properly fueled by all three macronutrients, as well as when it is fed a well-rounded diet of vitamins, minerals, and lots of water. Finally, the 5k distance is a very FUN distance for most people. They are short and sweet, and it is easy to recruit family or friends to run with you, or to bring out your own crew of support to cheer you on as you cross the finish line. Come race day, put your nerves aside and remember to have FUN with your run!