One thing I always say to someone who wants to start running… enter a race! Not only is it a great goal to work towards, the feeling of finishing a race can be like no other! With all the endorphins and adrenaline rushing around, the cheer of the spectators, pushing your body and believing in yourself, chances are you may just catch the ‘running bug’ and want to enter more!
If entering a race sounds like something you might like to do but have absolutely no idea where to start here are a few things to think about….
Choosing the right first race for you
- Be realistic. If you’re new to running chances are you’re not going to be able to run a marathon in two months time. You have to think about what is achievable in terms of your fitness ability and the time frame.
- Things to think about when choosing your first race: Location, price, type of course (road or cross country)
- The most important part, training. No-one would be able to reach a goal if they didn’t train for it. Without training you wouldn’t be able to progress.
- Be consistent. You have to train often, otherwise it would just be too difficult, especially on race day.
- If you’re new to running then I would suggest training at least 2-3 times a week. Once a week is not enough and any less than that and you might find yourself struggling
- Best advice? Follow a plan, theres lots around so find one that suits you, I like using MyAsics, you simply sign up (for free), input all your details and it makes a plan for you!
- What you eat and drink affects how you feel and how you perform. Fuel your body correctly and give it what it needs. Feeling lethargic on a run? My first thought is always ‘what have I eaten in the last 24 hours?’ honestly, it has a huge affect.
- Trial and error. Just because one runner is eating this or eating that it doesn’t mean you have to, give it a try yes but you have to find what works for you, which might take a little trial and error.
On the day
- Be prepared. Make sure you have everything you need and arrive with enough time.
- Don’t do anything different. One rule all runners should know. During a race do not eat or drink anything different to what you’ve trained with. For example if someone is giving out sweets or energy drinks during a race but you’ve never trained with these before then its best to avoid them.
- Most importantly, enjoy it! So what if you don’t get a PB or other people are flying past you, just try and take in the scenery, the spectators and just try to enjoy it all!