Tuesday, 8 October 2013

First race - points to remember for the second race

By now all of you know I ran my first ever race a week back and now I plan on running a lot more. I am listing a few things to remember for my next race. I am sure after every race I will have to keep adding to this list
Training - make sure your training is relevant
 If you plan to run a race you need to train there is no way around it and most of us know this. The important thing about training is to decide your training based on your event. If you have a race outside it's always good to include outdoor runs in your training. 
I was always on the treadmill, I had built a decent stamina for 5-6 k on the treadmill but running outside was different, the first time I did run outside I had to stop a number of times whereas on the treadmill I usually managed the same distance comfortably. I personally think all training should be done outside but if you can't manage that at least 50% training should be outdoors
Choose a Training plan based on your fitness level: 
Before narrowing down my training plan I went out for a run just to see my fitness level, don't make assumptions. There are lots of training plans available freely on the Internet when you are selecting one make sure you select something that you can relate to. So first check your fitness level then decide a plan that you can stick to. Usually you can decide this either based on the distance or speed. Look at the starting week, look at how many runs are included in a week and if you can comfortably manage the shortest run.
Check your diet
Along with the actual running the next most important thing is your diet, I started including a few more good carbohydrates, I had more oats, more sweet potato it helped especially for my long runs. Over time I realised what helped me in my runs and what caused stitch, water is also very important, during my training I realised I drink very little water during the day and that resulted in getting tired faster. This was one thing that definitely improved in my training. 
Check the race course before the race
One mistake I made was I trained along the same course the entire time, my surface was mostly flat and the race had lots of hills, next time I will make sure I know the course and train accordingly.
Make sure to include at least one or two runs at the same time as your race :
I trained either early in the morning or later on the evening but my race was at 10 am so I was a little confused about eating, because I was used to waking up eating a banana and going for my run but on the race day I had to wait till 10 so I knew I could not survive on 1 banana. I woke up really early had a good breakfast and then ate 1 banana about an 1hr before the race, that was good but I was really worried about either getting tired or feeling uncomfortable.
On the race day:
First race is always scary, especially if you are running alone, the best thing I did that day was reach a little early and talk to people who would be running the race. First things first, go register then look around smile at people, ask them if they have done a race before if they have tell them it's your first time and most of the times people will encourage you and give you very good advice...if it is their  first time, you have a company
If you have trained you know your speed, you know how long it takes for you finish 1 mile so stick to that, if you want to finish faster try increasing your speed towards the end, so most of your run is comfortable
Don't look back during the race: this is something that helped me a lot, I was really worried about coming in last I knew if I looked behind and saw nobody behind me I would either give up or increase my pace and get tired soon instead I just continued without looking behind till I finished I finished comfortably and in a decent time for me
Use time or miles as your markers, during my training I used land marks as my milestones and because I knew the path I always knew how much I had left to finish my run but for my race I did not know any landmarks, instead I used my Nike plus app to make sure I was maintaining my pace and tim, it's always nice to know how much distance you have covered
Hope you find these useful, I am sure I will have another list after the next one

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  1. This is really good advice and definitely a post I will refer to again. When I ran my first 10k last November (ran 85-90% of it and walked the rest of it) I didn't train for it at all. I had been doing some jogging on the treadmill but nothing outdoors. It was tough, but I survived (thanks to two of my friends who ran alongside me and encouraged me the whole way).

  2. Hey A, without training managing a 90% of your 10k is great so with training you will do really really good :), I am glad you found this post useful, its nice to have friends running with you, I went alone...T was cycling in the park so I would catch a glimpse of him suddenly and get excited :) :)