10 things you should be aware of before running your first race

10 things you should be aware of before running your first race

Make sleep a top priority.

During your workout, try to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Some people require more, while others require less; however, it is critical to heed your body’s needs. There is evidence that even a small amount of sleep loss can impair sports performance.

As race day approaches, prioritize getting enough rest. On race day, you want to be attentive and energized.

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Plan and practice

Regardless of how many kilometers your race will cover, preparation is the key to completing any distance, but especially for beginners:

Run at least three times per week to condition your physique. Determine how many days a week you can devote to running while organizing your race training schedule. Work with a coach or find a workout plan that you enjoy online. Do some research on the race course and determine your longest training run in the weeks coming up to the race.

Determine your fueling tactics ahead of time – will you need an energy gel during the race? What about water or other electrolyte-containing beverages?

Experiment with different types of running gear before the race to see what works best for you. Certain textiles irritate some people’s skin, so know what you’re going to race in and make sure it won’t bother you (including your shoes!).

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Set a primary and secondary goal.

You might have a timing goal that you want to meet on race day, or you might just want to be able to run the entire time. Unfortunately, situations beyond our control occur on race day. You might not be feeling well, or the weather might not cooperate. A downpour, for example, on the day of the marathon will delay everyone considerably. As a result, you may not meet your target time, but you may have an alternative goal in mind to work toward. On race day, there are so many variables beyond your control that you should always have a backup aim. (And, yes, “just finishing” is sometimes the goal.)

Before and during the marathon, stay hydrated.

You must avoid dehydration as a runner. In most circumstances, plain old water is the best option, although there is a significant difference between short and long races. 5K and 10K runners should focus on eating and hydrating before and after the race. Some hydration may be required for a 10K during the event, but this will vary on the individual. Neither of these shorter races should necessitate the use of an energy gel and may be simply fueled by eating the proper foods before the race. Investigate and locate a gel or nutrition source that works for you and does not cause GI distress for half and full-marathon runners. It’s a good idea to hydrate before, during, and after long runs. That way, you’ll be prepared on race day.

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Maintain an optimistic attitude.

As the saying goes, attitude is everything! Maintain an optimistic mindset during your training and race preparation. A positive mental attitude can set you up for success and help you overcome obstacles. Remember, running a race is intended to be enjoyable! You’re trying something new and getting out of your comfort zone, which should make you happy and excited!

Unwind and enjoy the run

It is common to feel nervous before a race. It’s a typical element of any competition, and it shows that you’re concerned about your performance and want to succeed. Furthermore, the increase in adrenaline may help you perform better. Consider techniques to stay calm and relaxed. Maybe Listening to music, stretching, or focusing on your breathing are all examples.

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Begin slowly.

Finally, don’t try to break a record in the first mile. It is better to pace yourself and stick to your time goal plan. Begin slowly and progressively increase your stride length until you’re at your typical training pace.

Recognize that problems will arise.

One major reason to give yourself approximately 25 weeks to train is that no matter how excellent your training plan is, it will never go perfectly, according to Hamilton. That is simply life. Maybe you get a stomach bug and have to miss a week of work. Perhaps you want to take a vacation between now and marathon day, and 15-mile runs aren’t on the agenda. Don’t berate yourself. A well-planned training strategy allows you to overcome these setbacks and yet be on                  time for the marathon.

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Stop running a few days in advance.

You may be tempted to ride that runner’s high to the race, but it’s best to give your body a break in the days leading up to it. To get the greatest benefits on race day, you may need to put your running shoes away for a few days.” A lot of novices don’t taper before a race because they believe they have to keep running to improve. Trainers recommend doing some cross training, such as [indoor cycling] or rowing, and taking care of your body with massages, cryotherapy, ice baths, and stretching.” The first step toward a successful first race is: Give yourself a break.

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Plan your equipment and meals.

Your first race day will be full of adrenaline, which might be overwhelming. By planning ahead of time, you can avoid unneeded tension on race day. Trainers advise having the exact clothes you intend to wear the day of the event planned out in the days leading up to it. Although you may be tempted to wear your new sneakers or leggings on race day, she advises against it. To avoid discomfort, dress in clothing you’ve already trained in. Furthermore, if you’re racing in a long-distance race, consider what fuel you’ll bring with you.