We admit, your first race can be scary though that’s why we suggest looking at picking your first race to help you on your way. If you’re raring to go and get your first medal with complimentary banana and running gel, here’s Andy Barr’s top tips for your first race.
Andy Barr’s top tip for your first race day
If you’re a complete newbie to running then don’t worry or be put off. Everyone once was. Getting your training on for the first time can be daunting and for some people really hard. But every runner has been there- a runner will respect the effort.
If you’re not comfortable running just yet walk it. Slowly and gradually build your performance level up. You might walk your first week; have a 50/50 split the second – perhaps run 100m then walk 100m and so on. Give yourself plenty of time to train your way up so when race day is calling, you know you’ll be ready.
No experimenting, please!
Minds out the gutters.
Now isn’t the time to be trying new shoes, diets or sleep patterns. Stick to what you know works for you. No risky curries, no special race day trainers and please no new tight lycra outfits.
Carbo-loading might not be the way
If your unfamiliar with the term, carbo-loading refers to when runners eat loads and loads of carbohydrates before a race. The theory: that they then have more energy to burn come race day. But please do so wisely. If your new, they way to do it isn’t by eating a kilo of pasta for breakfast (weird anyway), lunch and dinner.
You’ll end up feeling bloated, tired and not in the mood to run the next day. Have small portions of carbs instead throughout the day, breaking it up and therefore giving your body chance to break it down.
Don’t forget the Vaseline!
Yes, this happens. When you’re running for a long period of time your shirt is going to be moving around a lot. If you’re not wearing a bra (whether you like to go free or you’re male), there’s a very real chance you might chafe around your nipples.
Nobody wants that, so crack out the lube beforehand and save your partner the trauma of administering Savlon the night after.
This is a similar point to the carbo-loading point. As we’re quite aware our diet is massively important but even more so race day. On race day try not to eat anything too heavy. A fruit and yoghurt smoothie is a great option, providing you with a balance of carbs and protein without upsetting your stomach or leaving you feeling sluggish.
A food-free window two hours before your race should give your body plenty of time to work clear those tummies.
Get there on time
Give yourself plenty of time to warm-up. You know what I mean. Your first kilometre can sometimes be your hardest because your body isn’t ready. Get warmed up nice and early race day. Allow yourself plenty of time for you to pick up your number, find your friends and use the toilet.
Definitely be sure to use the loo’s because race day potties aren’t the most comfortable.
And finally, relax. You’ve trained hard and your ready. Don’t feel pressured by what might be new going on around you. Take everything as it comes. if you can’t run the whole 10km, that’s absolutely fine. Just walk as and when you need to. You don’t want to push yourself too hard and cause an injury. Listen to your body and manage what you can. The fact you’ll be making it over the finish line is a great achievement.