If you're thinking about signing up for your first fun run, congratulations! Participating in a fun run can be a rewarding experience, but you'll need some tips if it's your first time. You might do it to support a charity, challenge yourself, or simply have a good time with friends and family. However, as a beginner runner, you might feel overwhelmed or unsure about what to expect and need some advice. That's why in this blog post, I'll share some useful tips to help you prepare for your first fun run and make the most of the experience.
Whether you're aiming to cross the finish line in record time or just enjoy the scenery along the way, these race tips will help you feel more confident and prepared for your big day. So, time to lace up your shoes and get started.
First Fun Run Tip #1 - Strengthen your shins
With the extra impact going through your legs, you may well suffer from shin splints.
Reduce the risk with this simple strengthening exercise: Flex your toes up to your shins x10 and hold each one for 10 seconds. Repeat four times a week.
It's quick and easy to do - give it a go while you're watching TV or at work under your desk.
Beginner Fun Run Advice tip #2 - Don't overeat
Your training program will require your body to burn additional calories. A common mistake is to overestimate how many calories you are burning and, as a result, overeat.
If you want to help keep a healthy weight range, add a serving of complex carbohydrates to your daily food intake. Things like pasta, wholegrain rice, pulses and potatoes.
Think about a strategic snack an hour before each training run too.
Tip #3 - Get your breathing right
Getting your breathing right when starting to run can help reduce the chances of developing a 'stitch.' This will help make your training far more enjoyable!
Try a breathing rate of 3:3. This means you'd take three strides while you breathe in, and three strides while you breathe out. As your running pace increases, try a breathing rate of 2:2.
If you do happen to suffer from a stitch, try this: Stick your fingers into the mid-point of the stitch and slightly lean forward and over the stitch.
For your first fun run, you'll definitely want to reduce your chances of getting blisters
If you're new to running, it's likely you'll come across blisters at some point. To avoid blisters, keep your feet soft and stop the build-up of hard skin by regularly moisturising your feet.
Splashing out on a pedicure can be a good investment both before and after the event.
First Fun Run Tip #5 - Get your timing right
Find out your start time and try to acclimatise your body to train at that time of the day.
Aim to complete at least one of your training sessions each week at your race pace. On the start line, this will give you so much more confidence.
Remember that every event is a very special occasion with an amazing atmosphere. Worth savouring and not being worried about your training.
Beginner Running Advice for when you're struggling to find time to train:
You do need to put the training in - but that doesn't mean you have to be pounding the pavements every spare moment.
Train smarter, not harder. If time is limited, think three progressive sessions per week. One sprint session, one fast tempo run and one long-distance run at your race pace.
Tip #7 - Hydration, hydration, hydration!
A simple message, but fluid intake in the form of water has the biggest effect on your training.
Start your session well hydrated and always replenish post-exercise.
Be aware if your job involves you working in an air-conditioned office. Additionally, if you talk a lot on the phone plus you drink caffeine, you may be dehydrated more than you think. As a result, your hydration needs may be greater.
Experiment with different replacement gels and fluids in your training so you know at what stage of the course to take them.
Bonus Tip: Remember to Have Fun
In conclusion, participating in your first fun run can be an exciting and fulfilling experience. By following these race tips, you can prepare yourself physically and mentally, stay motivated, and enjoy the journey to the finish line.
Remember, the most important thing is to have fun and celebrate your achievement, no matter how fast or slow you run.
So, whether you're a seasoned athlete or a complete beginner, I encourage you to give it a try and see what you can accomplish. Who knows, you might discover a newfound passion for running or inspire others to join you on your next race. Good luck, and happy running!