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5 Simple & Practical Tips To Prepare For Your First Race

by Nellie

5 Simple & Practical Tips To Prepare For Your First Race

Now that I have run more races than I can count, I am feeling pretty confident that I have my race day strategy mastered. It will vary for everyone but I’ve realized that there are certain aspects of preparation that are universal:

Get Hydrated: I have a full article coming up on this on Wednesday but the most important thing you can do for ANY race ANY time of the year. When you run your body starts to get super warm and sweaty. You want to make sure you have a strong base and are fully hydrated so that your body can perform at it’s peak!

Footwear: Makes sure your shoes aren’t worn out. Have a calendar of how many miles you have run in your sneakers and if you have exceeded that limit make sure that you don’t take those out for a race. You want to make sure that your sneakers are in optimal shape before you hit the start line!

Prepare everything the night before: And I mean everything! From underwear (maybe not, some folks don’t need underwear 😉 ) to your sports bra, fuel, spare cash, headphones, clothes, hats, throwaway shirts—all of it! Have it all ready to go in one spot because looking for essential race day items can only add stress to your morning!

Leave Early: A ton of my races require that I travel to Central Park for the start line. Depending on the point in Central Park (and the MTA weekend construction) it can usually take about 90 minutes to get there on a good day. I usually allow for 30 extra minutes of travel time just incase there are any more delays. If you are close to your start line, still add 15-20 minutes of buffer time to use the restroom, eat a snack etc.

Have fun/Favorite Quote: There has never been a race that I haven’t been nervous about at the start line, but one thing that has really helped me get over the nerves is either reading a favorite motivational quote or just remembering how blessed I am to even able to toe the start line. 

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What other tips would you provide new runners? Do you have a favorite quote or self talk that calms your nerves at the start line?

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3 comments

Allie May 22, 2017 - 5:58 am

I love that you can now confidently write about this topic and it’s on point! I’m just so proud of what running has become for you 🙂
I would add – nothing new on race day! No new shirts, sports bras, socks, fuel, shoes – nothing!!!!
And I try to think of my nerves as excitement instead of fear and I know they all melt away about 2 minutes after the start gun goes off.

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Janine Huldie May 22, 2017 - 6:58 am

What great tips and even though you know I am not a runner I could imagine all of these would be essential, especially leaving a bit early to be there on time with time still to spare. Thanks for sharing 😉

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Tamara May 24, 2017 - 12:01 pm

I still have yet to run my first race. Wouldn’t you know – it will still happen and I’ll have your wisdom!

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