How to Prepare for Your First Race

Running a race is motivating as it gives you something to train for, and a deadline.  Also, races are a great team environment that are both supportive and inspiring.  Danica from Chic Runner shares her tips about preparing for your first race.

Color Run Ann Arbor

Photo by memories_by_mike

Enjoy It

Danica reminds us to slow down and enjoy the training process and the actual race.  She says it’s so important to really cherish each milestone that you pass and to focus on all the accomplishments you’re achieving instead of being concerned about finishing in a certain time at the race. Focus on how far you’ve come since you started training, and enjoy the process of running in a race.

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Cross-Train

It addition to running, it’s important to focus on cross training.  This will help you to develop the muscle your body needs to perform at its best when running, and can also help to prevent injury.  Danica says she  enjoys lifting weights, riding the bike and going to the gym just to stay in shape and make sure she’s not only running to give her body a break.

Reward Yourself

Training for and completing a race is a big accomplishment, and it’s important to reward yourself along the way.  Danica says she loves going to a treat after a long run, and that this reward gives her something to think about during her run.

Don’t Overdo It

Make sure that you’re taking at least one rest day per week, and don’t push yourself too far.  Danica points out that missing one training run won’t ruin you and derail your training.  If you’re feel overly tired or run-down, it’s often better to take a day off and run the next day, when you’ll be able to give it your all.

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Photo by Bob Jagendorf

Let Yourself Be Inspired

Danica says the best thing about running a race is being inspired by the other runners,  saying “no matter what time they finish in, they signed up and are running right beside me which is awesome and great to see”.  Let yourself be inspired by runners of all different abilities to take with you when you begin preparing for your next race!

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