Maybe you’ve been a runner for a long time. Or maybe you’ve just decided to get into running. Either way, running is no doubt one of the most popular and easiest exercises to complete. A runner doesn’t need anything but tennis shoes and the road. But what happens when you decide to get more serious and run your first race? Guess what, it’s not as difficult as you’re imagining! Just follow our race running tips and you’ll be set for a 5K, 10K, half-marathon, and even a full-marathon.
- Set a Goal: When training for a race, make sure you know which race you’re training for. If you want to do a 5K, then make that your goal and follow a plan to achieve it.
- Follow a Plan: Did you know that there are literally thousands of free plans available online to help you prep for a race? Hal Higdon is just one example of a trainer and website that offers guides to training. And for many races, after you sign up, you’ll have access to a free training plan provided by the race. Use it!
- Gear Up: If you’re serious about running a race, you need the right gear. Especially if you’re practicing longer runs, you need a water carrier, glide stick, the right shoes and clothes. For a full list of gear watch this video from Runner’s World.
- Find Friends: Training for a race is a lot easier if you train with friends. Find a community of runners in your area who are also training for the same race. Or, drag a friend along with you and then train together.
- Start Slow: Just because you’re planning to run a race, doesn’t mean you need to start out running straight out for ten minutes with no breaks. Start at your current fitness level and build from there. Take it easy. It’s okay to walk more than run at first. If you’re an accomplished runner, still don’t jump into week twelve of your training program. Start at the beginning and work your way to race day.
- Recover: Don’t run seven days in a row and push yourself too hard. Rest days are vital, even when race training. Over-training can hurt you in the long run, so make sure you get plenty of rest each night, eat well-balanced meals, stay hydrated, and enjoy your cross-training and rest days.
- Pace Yourself: Getting a good race time is not about sprinting until you collapse. The longer you train, the better your pace will get. Start out comfortably, where you can talk while running, and then slowly increase your pace. Give yourself a time limit and see if you can complete your circuit within that time. If you make it, go out and celebrate. If not, try again next time and smile that you’re out there doing it.
- Keep It Fun: You’ll never stick with your race training if you don’t enjoy it. Make sure you keep it fun out there by listening to music and taking it easy. If you’re miserable, you’ll quit.