Tips for running your first race!


I’ve started running again after a really long break from running and it feels good to be back! The reason why I started running again was because I attended a mandatory school race with my school where you could either run/walk 3, 6 or 9 kilometers. I chose 6 kilometers even though I hadn’t run in… well, forever, so I was very excited. I actually ran the whole race (minus 50 meters or something..) and realizing that I could still run, I spontaneous signed up for a run on the same day and ran the race 3 days after. It was actually my first ”own” race. I did the Silkeborg Hill Challenge last year, but that was with my boarding school. Anyways, I decided I wanted to run 5 kilometers and then do a race next month (26th Oct. more exactly) where I will run 10 kilometers! The longest I have ever run is about 8-9 kilometers I think, so I hope it won’t be that hard, haha. I think got a pretty good time at my 5K, so I am very thrilled. Now I am just ready to start training for my 10K next month!

Anyways! I thought I would give you some tips about what is good to bring to a race and things to do before.

Arrive early

Remember that you have to pick up your package and if you are going to a race where you will get a t-shirt and food, then it is a good idea to arrive early. Also keep in mind that the line to wardrobe can be pretty long, but it depends on how many people are attending at the race. Arrive at least half an hour early, I recommend.

Think of your clothes
When running, think of the degrees to be 15 degrees warmer than it is. That is how much your body warms up when running.

Don’t eat too much before the race
And especially not carbs. Carbohydrates are more likely to give you side stitches and make you bloated. If you eat carbs before your run make sure to eat it at least an hour before your run. Also remember to bring some food for after the race, if you are not given something at the race.

Don’t stand near at the startline
.. Unless you’re a fast runner. Fast runners hate it when slow runners stand at the starting line and then kind of blocks everything. Kind of like when you are trying to start running, but everyone in front of you is walking.. If you want to stand at the startline, then just remember to start running when the alarm/gun shot goes off and not walk.

Invite your friends and family to come and support you at the race. They can cheer you up alongside with the race and cheer for you when you are running to the finish line. Plus you will have someone to hang around with after the race. Although I would like to add that there is nothing wrong with being alone at a race. I did it the last time I raced and I am probably also going to do it at the 10K race. It’s different what people prefer.

Remember to warm up
Some races do a 5-10 minute warm up for all runners at the race. If it is not too crowded it’s a good idea to join in. If it’s too crowded or you didn’t arrive at time, remember to do your own warm up. Something like jogging, jumping jacks, squat etc.

Don’t compare yourself to other runners
Every person is different. Just because some older people can run faster than you doesn’t mean you are ”bad” at running or is in a bad shape.

If you are in for a longer run
Remember to take water from the water stops. Personally I don’t do it because I easily get side stitch and I can never really tell if I will get it or not so I just don’t take any water on the run, because it’s really awful when your side stitch starts hurting your shoulders too.

Don’t expect a new PR (personal record)
I’m kinda bad at this. Because you’re running a race, doesn’t mean you will do it as ”good” as when you run at home. Not saying that it is bad to set a goal to get a new PR at a race, but remember to keep it realistic or you can end up disappointing yourself.

Stick to what you know
It may be tempting to do other stuff on race day or before race. Such as different clothing, eating other foods or anything, but if you are not used to it, then don’t do it. You don’t want to end up finding out that your new t-shirt is itchy in the neck or that your meal before the race made you extremely bloated and you feel like throwing up the whole run. Believe me, I talk of experience here, haha.

Be prepared the day before
Lay out your clothes the day before and remember to get enough sleep. Aim for about 8 hours of sleep. Remember to also bring tissues if it’s cold weather. There is nothing more annoying than a running nose during a run.

Wardrobe storage
It’s a good thing to check if your race offers you storage at the race for your bags and such.

Keep moving and refuel
After the race. Walk for about 10 minutes after to avoid stiffness in your body. Remember to stretch too. Also remember to refuel after the race. Best thing is to drink water or anything else calorie-free fluids.

Bring warm clothes
To after the race. It’s actually very important because you can easily get sick if you don’t put something on. Especially when it’s getting colder now. Some races offers you a place to sit outside (like picnic) and eat your food. If the weather allows it, bring a blanket and enjoy your food outside.

2014 Raleigh Rock n Roll MarathonAnd last but not least, remember to have fun and enjoy yourself!

Do you have any other race tips that I forgot? What was your first race like? And when is your next?



Source: First picture is my own and the last two are from this site.


About Maia

Click on my blog, and then click on ''Who's Behind The Screen?''.
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