Overcoming Jitters of Running Your First Race
The First Race can be Daunting for Many Reasons
- Will you be ready?
- Have you run enough miles to be prepared?
- Do you have the right nutrition, pre, intra, post?
- Did you taper soon enough or too early?
These were many of the questions that loomed over my head for my first race.
That Being Said Here Are A Few Tips & Tricks
1. Have a Plan For Running Your First Race
Have a Plan
It’s important to follow a well-structured training plan that gradually increases your mileage and incorporates rest days. Avoid the temptation to increase your mileage too quickly, as this can increase the risk of injury. Consistency is key, so aim to stick to your training plan as closely as possible to build your endurance gradually and safely. Most training plans call for 3-4 days of running, but I was able to get by with 2 for the majority of my training before ramping up to 3 days per week for the last 6 weeks.
Monday: Strength -Total/Upper
Tuesday: Track Speed Workout, Strength – Total/Lower
Wednesday: – Total Body/Pump
Thursday: Strength – Total/Upper
Friday: Strength – Total/Lower
Saturday: Distance Run (8+ Miles)
Sunday: KB Flow/Movement
It is pivotal for runners to continue to strength train as they work through their training plan. Weak runners get injured. Don’t skip the strength
2. How to Properly Nourish & Hydrate for Your First Race
Fueling your body with the right nutrients and staying hydrated are crucial for marathon training. Make sure to eat a balanced diet that includes carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats to support your training and recovery. Stay hydrated before, during, and after your runs, and practice your race-day fueling strategy during your long runs to optimize your performance on race day.
I don’t like to run with water, but fortunately for me I did a lot of my longer runs on Saturdays. Philadelphia is a big running city and lots of races were held on Saturdays so I was able to sneak some water from the race water stations. Another quick tip was mixing a bit of electrolyte into my water to help with hydration.
3. Consistency > Intensity - When Training/Running Your First Race
Remember, training for a marathon requires dedication, consistency, and patience. Don’t be afraid to seek advice from experienced runners or fitness professionals, and listen to your body throughout the process. There will be days you don’t feel like you can run/workout, but always remember slow motion is better than no motion.” Take care of yourself, stay committed to your training plan, and enjoy the entire experience from your first training day all the way through the finish line.
Walk the water stations!
This was something I was told and was 50/50 on. There were some hydration stations I passed by and others I tried to drink water while still running. Looking back this is a change I would make. I should have walked the entire length of the hydration station to eat my gel packs/snack and to drink the water rather than spill it on my chest.
- 3 – ½ Marathons
- 1 – Full Marathon
- 1 – Olympic Triathlon (1 more this summer)
My resume is by no means extensive when it comes to endurance events, but I have a few under my belt and felt it would be appropriate to share my experiences and advice for first timers. I grew up a competitor, so “just finishing” wasn’t the only goal, I had a bigger vision.
Happy Training, Happy Racing
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