Five Tips For Your First Race

Five Lessons From The Bronx 10 Mile Race
In September 2012, I ran the NYRR Bronx 10 mile race. It was the longest race I had run up to that point and I was unprepared for the challenge. I’d gotten to some 5 and 6 mile training runs but never 10 miles before.
And the morning of the race was hot and muggy. I was a new runner and I didn’t know all the things I know now about being prepared with electrolytes and fuel belts and running playlists to get you past the wall. I was a newbie runner and I was just in it for the adrenaline rush of doing something new. So I showed up and I ran and I finished – I have a finisher’s medal to prove it.
But the race is happening again this weekend so I’m sharing the 5 things I wish someone had told me before I ran.
1. Check the weather and dress appropriately. I wore light gray tights that when I sweated as much as I did, it looked like I was peeing my pants. Eww. Also, this was back when I thought runners actually raced in the t-shirts we got with the race entry. So I had no wicking material anywhere and I really needed it to deal with the heat.
2. Focus on your goal – which is to finish. Period. The Bronx 10 mile course is a loop so at some point, you’ll be able to see the faster runners ahead, in my case way ahead, and it requires lots of mental fortitude to overcome that feeling of “I’m not as good as the others, so I might as well quit now.”
3. Bring supplies. Electrolytes, gels, candy, whatever replenishes your energy. NYRR races usually have lots of aid stations but on the Grand Concourse on your way back, it can seem like miles between each one. And that “wall” can hit at any time. Be prepared to overcome that wall.
4. Let the crowd help you. When I was running, I got to a point where I felt like I was done and I was about to start walking and I remember a woman calling out to me from the sidelines telling me to just keep going. And she looked right at me as though we were running together. It was just the boost I needed to get to the finish line. NYC, spectators get involved. Take advantage of their energy!
5. Enjoy the run. If it’s your first race, it won’t matter what your finishing time is. It will still be your Personal Record (PR) for that distance. You’ll look back on your accomplishment and be proud of what you did, regardless of how long it took you. So enjoy the run, enjoy the scenery, make the most of the experience. It’s only your first time once.

Five Photos That Made Me Smile

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Happy Friday. Are you running a race this weekend? Or what are your weekend plans?

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Leslie says:

    Hilarious! SO TRUE!

    Like

  2. Chatter says:

    Also if you are running in an event early in the morning when its cold out a good idea is to go to good will and get a disposable warm layer that you do not mind ditching at an aid station. That way you can be warm while waiting for the race and while running when you get too hot you don’t mind loosing the garment. One race I ran actually encouraged this and set it up to launder all left items and donate them to a homeless shelter.

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    1. runwright says:

      That’s great advice. I usually bring a jacket that I can tie around my waist but it’s come loose and fallen by the wayside before. Good idea to bring something you don’t mind losing.

      Like

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