Thursday, April 19, 2012

Throwback Thursday & Advice for First Timers

So, in April of 2007 I ran my first race. My best friend Benita and I ran the Salt Lake Half Marathon. That was 5 years ago? Whaaa? Time flies.
 It was so much fun. We were both super nervous, and had no idea what to expect. We really loved it, and it was a great experience.
I have a client running The Salt Lake Half this Saturday, and it is her first race. We talked about it today getting her all pumped and prepared. My suggestions on what helped me, what to expect, and what to not worry about. It took me back!

My suggestions for a first timer?

- Be confident about what you can control, don't worry about what you can't.
- Follow a training plan, and then trust that you are prepared in your training.
- You can't change the weather. You can dress accordingly. Don't let it stress you out.
- Wear comfortable clothing that you have tried out in training.
- Try you pre-race meal out in your training
- Lay out your clothing the night before. Check and double check that you have
- Do your homework. Read up on the course, find out about aid stations, know what is provided at those aid stations. This will alleviate surprises.
- Take matters into your own hands. I bring my own shot blocks because I don't want to worry if aid stations are going to have what I need. I also come prepared with chap stick, anti-chaffing lotion, gum, etc.
- Charge up the night before. If you are running with an iPod, garmin, heart rate monitor etc. Make sure that it is all charged up and ready to go the night before. I have started a race with a dead ipod. It isn't fun.
- Take a moment and take it in. Even if you have to have your music to make it through, take some time to take out the headphones and listen to the crowd cheering you on! It is such a cool experience.
- Take advantage of the perks afterwords. Everyone loves free food and massages. Duh. 
- MOST IMPORTANTLY...embrace the fear. Races are nerve wracking because they are challenging. They are also AWESOME because they are challenging. If they weren't hard, it wouldn't be a big deal and everyone would do them. Remember that this is an AWESOME accomplishment because it is a challenge. Let your adrenaline work in your favor!

What was your first race? What advice would you give to a first time racer??


Rachelle Wardle said...

Great tips Megan. I think the most important thing is to relax and have fun. I mean afterall we are paying to run these races right? Might as well enjoy it. :)

Oh and feed off of the crowd, don't go out too fast, and stay hydrated. :):)

Anonymous said...

I'm so not used to seeing your natural blonde hair - I really love it both ways, but I think I love the dark more! :)

I decided this week that I'm going to run my very first half marathon this fall!!! Thanks for the tips!

Running Girl said...

I love these tips! My first half is coming up in a few weeks, & it's so nice to see the extra reminders of what to do/not to do. Also, one to add from my last race - do not assume that a race (even one with 30K runners!) will have a race photographer. I ran my first 15K a few weeks ago, & foolishly assumed their would be race photos so I didn't take any of my own. Fail.

Benita said...

i want to run a race with you again! that was so so fun, and you were the best motivator ever. thanks for helping me do it!

Anonymous said...

I agree with all of your tips. The only other thing I would add is to not doubt yourself or your training. For my first few races I lined up in the back of the pack because I didn't want to get in anyone's way. I spent the first 2 miles wasting energy by running around people. I still don't go to the front of the line but I certainly don't hang out at the back.

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