Connect the Dots Ginger | Becky Allen: Thinking About Doing A Race?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Thinking About Doing A Race?

Is this your first race ever, or your third 5k? How about your first 1/2 marathon or full marathon? You have made the decision that you want to run in a race. GREAT! It is such an amazing feeling to cross the finish line after all the hard work, time and dedication that you have put into doing this race.

Normally you don't just roll out of bed and say, "I'm gonna run a 1/2 marathon today!" NO WAY! (ok there might be some people that do do that but they have probably been running for years and can do that or this is a person that is just going to get hurt.) You must first train for it! Your body needs to get conditioned to the activity you are going to be doing to it. There are callouses that need to be built, strength that needs to be made and determination needs to be set in your mind to get through a race, any race! Here are some things to think about when deciding to start training for a race.

1. Be EXCITED! Be excited about the thought of your new race. Start to plan ahead on what you can do to be ready for it. Check out what you eat, make a food journal. Make a running journal so that in the future you can look back and see what worked and didn't work. Make this a lifestyle change and stick to it! Make a game plan too on how much you are going to run and when you are going to run. Find a training plan or join a local running group. runDisney has great training programs that can be modified to meet your needs. They have training programs for 10k's up to full marathon, with different levels of running to choose from. Novice to elite!

2. How's your body feel when exercising? Are you used to walking already? Or running? Do you have any aches or pains when you walk or do some running. If you have constant pain in your shins or body and it has been weeks and you are icing and using compression it's time to get the pain checked out! Either try out new running shoes or go see your doctor. (I love my chiropractor) Running is a high impact sport. There will be some aches and pains in the beginning but they should go away as you become more used to the movements and what you are putting your body through. Constant pain for a long period of time is not normal. GET IT CHECKED OUT! 

3. Eat Right! Eat to fuel your body. It takes the right foods to sustain the activity you are going to be doing. Find out the super foods that are great and gives you energy and keeps you satisfied for as long as possible. Also figure out what you are going to eat before you run and always do that. Prep for the race while you train. If you always eat a banana and a cliff bar before training, do that the morning of the race. Figure out what works and stick with it!

4. Coordinate with your family. This is a biggie. Seriously. Training for a race, any race takes a lot of planning for you and your family. Set a schedule to when you are going to run or exercise. I have to figure out a time I can go out and do my runs without Collin right now and I have to be back in a certain amount of time because he gets hungry and grumpy without me and I don't really want to spring a leak while I am running. Saturdays until September I am probably going to go out twice. Saturday mornings work with the training program then do my long run in the afternoon to make sure I am getting my mileage in. Also know that you might have to rest in the afternoon. I had to take a nap every single time after I had a long run. My body needed it. My mind needed it too. So prep your family that you are going to have to have nap time! Then there is race day. I haul my family with me early, early, early in the morning to get to the race, wait for me and watch me run then stay through the awards until it is time to go.

5. Work a race. Volunteers are amazing! They are the ones there super early, walk out to wherever they are working, cheer you on and stay until the last person passes them. They hand out water, often getting covered in spilled water. Pick up the trash, direct you to where you go so you don't get lost. I volunteered at my first race for the 4th of July and really tried to cheer everyone on as they passed! Especially the back of the pack because I know what it is like to be in the back and not have as many supporters cheering you on. I had a ton of fun and it was awesome to see the front of the pack, and the first person to come in and to walk in with the last. I had a lot of fun.

6. Get a buddy! Try to have a buddy that you can report your training to. See if they can be your running buddy either with you on actual running days or long distance. My BFF K was my running buddy as I trained for my 1/2 marathon. I would text her with my times after each time that I ran and she would congratulate me every single time. We would talk about what I was planning on running that weekend, often matching the mileage on my long runs (and kick my butt in the speed factor every time!) But it was awesome to have my running buddy to check in with and be held accountable with!

So plan wisely and you can go from the start line all the way to the finish!

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