Wednesday, June 10, 2015

So you wanna run your first race?


Recently, I've been slacking a lot on writing. But now that schools out for summer, this Teacher-Runner is hitting the pavement and blog board to prepare for my next race. Look out San Francisco Marathon, here I come.

Alright ladies and gentlemen, it's almost time to start training for the fall race season. One question I get a lot is: How do I prepare for my first race?

Quotes often turn into mantras for me while I'm running. Sometimes, I have such a hard time getting started but once I do, I feel great. Try something new, try a different race, but remember there is always a beginning and everyone has a time in their life when they were just starting something. 


Train
I highly suggest starting a training plan, most plans are 12-20 weeks long. My favorite training plans are Hal Higdon's plans. He's a long time runner and Runner's World writer. He has plans for everyone: 5K, half, and full marathons and novice, intermediate, advanced and even senior plans.

Here is a link to his 5K novice page: http://www.halhigdon.com/training/50933/Novice-Training-for-your-first-5K

Shoes
Invest in a good pair of running shoes. I highly suggest going to a shoe shop, like VA Runner, to have a specialist fit you for your perfect shoe. Sketchers might be "cute" but they're not the best for running.

Also, don't wear a brand new pair of shoes for a race.

Water, water, water

Water is so important for runners. You should make sure you drink plenty of water the day before, the day of the run, and after the run.

Other beverages: Even though some people don't believe in it, I drink coffee before every run but to be far I drink coffee like an addict. If you're running a long run or it's hot out, make sure to drink some sort of drink with electrolytes, like Gatorade, after the run to replenish your body with the essentials after you've sweat out everything.

Eat

Don't each anything out of the ordinary before your run. I ate jalapeƱos about an hour before my first 5K run, BIG mistake. My stomach was killing me. But obviously I still didn't learn, I ate the spiciest Chipotle burrito bowl the night before my marathon, horrible idea. Learn from my mistakes, don't eat spicy. Many runners eat pasta the night before they run.

Sleep
You will be nervous before your first run. Try to get a full night's sleep. Sleep is so important. I once heard that runners should add 10 extra minutes a night of sleep for each additional mile that they add weekly during training.

I absolutely love it when people ask me for advice about weight loss and running, partly because it gives me time to think back and reflect on my journey but mostly because I love helping other people and seeing their success. Please send me a message, email, or smoke signal if you have any questions. Thanks for reading.

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