You've decided you might like to run a race, but where do you start? Read on to get some ideas on how to get your journey off the ground.
Finding a race is the easy part. What distance? What city? State? Set your parameters then do a search. There are lots of sites like "Running in the USA" that can help you find the perfect first race. If your motivation is to run for a particular cause or charity, go to their website and see what they have coming up.
It might seem like a no-brainer, but it's all too easy to put it off. Register and pay for your race as soon as you decide on one, then it's done! Once you put your money down, the commitment is real.
Taking the first step is without question the hardest part in all of this. The first week will require real determination when you are undoubtedly sore, and wondering what you have gotten yourself into. It will get easier, and once you start feeling the inevitable benefits there will be no looking back!
There are lots of training strategies you can explore to keep you motivated and make sure you have a fun and successful first race. Some ideas are:
- Join a running club; the motivation and camaraderie is unrivaled
- Sign up and train with a friend
- Follow a prescribed training guide like the "couch potato to 5k" for example
Make sure you have decent shoes and appropriate, breathable apparel. Chafing can be a real issue so make sure you run at least once in the clothing you intend to wear for the race. Think about what you will eat the night before (check the nutrition page) and what you will have for breakfast the morning of the race for your best performance.
Whether you're running in your home town or you've traveled farther afield, plan something fun for after the race to celebrate. Maybe a local attraction or a special lunch? You have definitely earned a treat!