So you fee the energy… your watch, synchronized with the big digital clock.. the beat of the drums that the event organizers prepared for the runners sounds like your own heart beat..
Then the count down.. five.. four.. three.. two.. one!
The gun goes off.. and so does the runners!
- DO NOT SPRINT! It is oh so easy to go with the flow and sprint with the pack after the gun shot, BUT that will wear you out easily. Stick to the plan and start slow.
- DO find a running buddy that has the the same pace as you do. It’s more fun to run with a “pace buddies” and the sense of accomplishment is much better if shared.
- DO take a sip when you pass by a water station even if you are not thirsty. “Thirsty” is your body’s special way of saying “I am dehydrated!”
- DO breathe. Relax and shake your arms and shoulders every once in a while to avoid muscle tightness. Avoid slouching during the race and be conscious of your posture.
- DO take time to enjoy the scenery. Sometimes we get focused on beating our personal record (PR) that we tend to forget to enjoy the run!
- DO NOT THINK NEGATIVE THOUGHTS. Be aware that this is a mind game. Change your thoughts into positive affirmations and think about how it would feel once you finish the race and how proud your family and friends will be of you and your accomplishment I remember during my first ever 10K race, I was thinking of my four kids during the last stretch — imagining them cheering for me until the finish. And yes, it worked.
- A run is one way of getting to know how your body reacts to stimulus. If during your run, you feel uncomfortable, slow down and assess how bad it really is. If it goes away resume your regular pace, but if the pain persists DO consider stopping and getting some help. No race is worth the risk of hurting yourself. Pain is the body’s way of letting us know something is wrong.
- DO hydrate upon reaching the finish line.
- DO take care of blisters, cramping, or any other injuries immediately after the race.
- DO re-fuel yourself and restore your glycogen stores with a healthy and nutritious meal, preferably high in good carbs.
- DO NOT drink alcohol after pushing your body to its limits. What it needs is a healthy meal and water to replenish all that it lost during the race.
- DO cool down and stretch within 20 minutes of completing your event. This helps avoid lactic acid build up and Delayed Onset Muscular Soreness (DOMS).
- DO NOT lie down or sit immediately after the race. Move, mingle and take photographs for posterity. Now is the time to meet new friends!
Now that you know how to prepare for a run, let’s lace up our shoes and shout it out..
“RUN (insert name here) RUN!!! *see you on the road!