This great blog post comes from our guest blogger Zoe – aka The Girl That Runs!
The first time I ran a race I was so completely unprepared! I had brand new trainers on that I wanted to show off, along with very old cycling shorts that were made from Tshirt material and a top that fitted – just! – too snug I was to discover!
The race was a short race but boy I suffered the whole way round! My trainers rubbed and produced nasty blisters, my shorts were so old that my thighs rubbed together so much that they wore a hole which then proceeded to produce two blisters on my inner thighs that popped during the race and my top rubbed against my under arms and gave me chafing sores both sides.
I never did that again. The next day I raced out and bought my first ever pair of running tights and a nice loose breathable top.
The moral of my story is to be prepared when running your race whether it is your first or 10th!
Tips to make sure you are prepared for your race
Tried and tested
Try out your running outfit before you race. Go for a few runs in the gear you plan to wear to see if it is comfortable and whether you have any issues with it. That way you still have time to perfect it before you race and won’t run into the issues I did!
Check out the route
If you really want to be prepared and live near to the race course – go and check it out. Have a good look at the route, look at where the hills are (if any) and be super prepared for race day as well as noting where the start line is, where you can park and more importantly where the toilets are and how many etc.
Plan for all eventualities
If it is forecast to be sunny make sure you wear sunscreen. If it is forecast to rain take some layers to wear in the race lineup so you don’t catch a chill and you can always discard your layers as you go – so don’t wear your favourite Lorna Jane top ! If it’s a warmer than usual day don’t go crazy speed wise on your race unless you know you can handle it. Start off slowly.
Don’t go crazy
If you haven’t run a race before don’t go crazy. Everytime I run a race my adrenalin pumps and I feel so light that I could run faster than the speed of light – maybe for the first few metres yes but then I usually pay for it as I started too quickly. Stick to the speeds you have been running in training and towards the end of the race if you feel good then maybe pick up your speed.
Don’t try anything new
Just before a race or on race day is not the time to be trying anything new especially in your race gear and in what you are eating. I’ve had many a bad race from eating something I hadn’t eaten before the morning of the race. Whatever you normally eat for breakfast before a training run is the best way to handle this and don’t eat anything too heavy right before running.
There is nothing worse than rushing right before a race. It’d good to be organised and calm so that you can prepare for the start. Racing around looking for a toilet (take your own toilet paper also – I’ve been caught out a number of times!) or car parking at the last minute is a pain. I had to literally sprint to start a race once as I was stuck in the queue for a toilet and the race started before I got to the start line – hence that wasn’t a great race!
Enjoy yourself and give yourself a big pat on the back for completing your first race!
Editors note – Don’t forget that if you want to fundraise for your event to set up your Everyday hero supporter page before the big day to ensure your donors have a safe, simple way to donate – click here to get started!