Running Your First Race

Adding a race to your calendar gives you a goal to train towards and will help to motivate your training. Check out these tips for getting to your first starting line.

1. Choose Your Race

There are a variety of race distances that you can start with. If you are brand new to running I would start with a 5k. It is challenging enough that you will need to build up a base but also a short enough distance that you will finish the race.

If you have some experience running maybe try the half marathon as your first race. It takes more training and is more focused on endurance. Choose your race based on the date, distance, your goals, and swag if you’re into that.

2. Get the right gear

Your shoes will be your best friend or your worst enemy. Step one is to find the shoe that works best for you. This is the most important piece of equipment that a runner can own.

Get moisture wicking, temperature appropriate and properly fit clothing. Know how to layer up in the colder months and what clothing is the most comfortable for you.

These things are not required but are nice to have the more miles that you put in. A GPS running watch will track your runs and give you stats to compare, a hat and sunscreen to protect your face from the sun, and an arm band to carry your phone.

3. Find the right training plan

You have to find a training plan that is specific to your distance and your goals. Preparing for a longer race takes different muscle strength and endurance that you learn during training.

4. Before the race

Take a break the week or two before the race. This is called the taped and it means pulling back your training so that your body can recover before the race.

Plan your meal for the night before the race and the morning of. Do not do anything new! This is key. Give yourself enough time in the morning to eat a light breakfast at least an hour before the race.

5. Show up

Take your place at the start line, remember your training, and enjoy the experience.