Be A Racer. (Part I)

Be A Racer. (Part I)

Have you ever wanted to run a road race, but been too nervous to register? Over the past 2 weekends, I have run 5Ks with two road race newcomers. Having run road races for as long as I can remember, I was excited to share this experience and hopefully get two new running buddies out of the deal. Running these races with first-timers reminded me of all of the little tricks I’ve learned over the years, so I figured I would share them with all of you! Today we’ll start with pre-race day tips.

1. Pick your race. Search local race calendars to determine what race you would like to do. Check out www.coolrunning.com or www.runnersworld.com to get started. Then figure out what time or year you want to race. Do you enjoy running in the heat or cold? I personally would recommend starting with an early spring or fall race to avoid major fluctuations in temperature. Also consider if you want someone else to run with you or if you want to go at it solo, how big of a race do you want to do for your first time, and how far you are willing to travel for the race.

2. Train appropriately. Pick your race early and then complete the appropriate training for it. If you are just starting out, the Couch to 5K program is great to get you started with running. If you are already running or training for a longer race, contact an experienced running couch to determine the best plan for you. Make sure your training program also includes stretching. And don’t forget, overtraining can be just as detrimental as undertraining.

3. Scope out the course. If the race you choose isn’t too far away, consider doing a dry run of the course so you are familiar with the terrain. If the course is too far away, print the course map and study it. Most races are well marked, but you don’t want to find out the hard way that you missed a turn. And don’t forget to look into the parking situation.

4. Prepare the night before. Check out the weather for race day then get everything out and ready. Most races start early in the morning, which means an early wake up call so the more prepared you are the better off you’ll be. Charge all of your electronics, make sure you have the right breakfast foods, and lay out your clothes.

5. Choose appropriate clothing.. A good rule of thumb is to dress as if it is 15 degrees warmer than the temperature is. But dress warmer, especially on cold mornings, and then de-layer just before the race. Make sure to pick out your clothes the night before. And don’t forget to think about chaffing if you are running a longer race.

Check back soon for more tips for race day!

Leave a comment: Are you a runner? What did you do to prepare for race day?

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.

-Alicia and Nikki