‘The race is the beauty part. The time you put it all together is the race.’~~Dr. George Sheehan
If you really want to get yourself motivated to run, sign up for a race.
Here are 7 steps to get you to the starting line well prepared:
- Pick your Distance–First of all, decide what distance you would like to race. It is good to decide whether you want to race for miles or pace. For example, if you have never run more than 10 miles, you may want to train for a half-marathon(13.1 miles) to challenge yourself to run a new distance. Or, maybe you want to run a 10K and set a personal record. Races are a great way to get you to run faster and farther than you have ever run before. I personally think that every runner should challenge themself to run further and further. Here is how to Run Longer
- Choose a date–Take out the calendar and give yourself a reasonable amount of time to train for the distance. As a rule of thumb, a shorter race will require less time to train. You can usually prepare for a 5K or 10K in a couple months. For marathons and ultramarathons it is good to give yourself at least 4 months, depending on your base. Here is how to Build a Base
- Choose a race–Now comes the fun part. The internet is a good place to start checking out possible race destinations. Talk to the employees at your local running store to find out about local races. Every race has it’s own vibe and personality. Trail races tend to be more laid back.
- Choose a plan–Check out some programs for racing the distance that you have chosen. Don’t be afraid to adjust the plan according to your schedule, lifestyle and running abilities. Tape the plan on your fridge or bedroom door and hold yourself accountable.
- Stick to your habits–Put all of your running habits into practice and run, run, run. Make sure you keep it fun and reward yourself. Build your Running Habits
- Race it–Show up on race day prepared and enjoy the experience. See below for 10 Race Day tips.
- Start Planning your Next Race–It is hard to race once, and then never do it again. Challenge yourself to a harder distance or beating your personal record. Racing is a great way to measure your progress.
Ten Race Day Tips
- Don’t get creative-Stick with the same shoes, shorts, shirts, nutrition, etc.
- Run your Own Race-Don’t worry about everyone else. Focus on your own pace, hydration and fueling.
- Support Crew- Bring friends and family to cheer you on.
- Get there early- Plan on being 2 hours early. This leaves plenty of time for race prep and port-a-potty lines.
- Be Patient- Unless you are in it to win, flying of the starting line spells late race disaster. Start slow and aim for a negative split.
- Be Flexible and Adaptable- Be ready to flow with the weather, unexpected crowds, or bumps in your race pace goal.
- Have Goals, not a goal- One goal can easily be missed. Give yourself various time goals, most importantly the goal of finishing.
- Breathe- Remember to breathe in, “calm” and breathe out, “stress.”
- Test yourself- Today is the day to see what kind of speed is inside you.
- Enjoy it- Soak in the scenery, race vibes and pushing yourself to the limit.
Note: This post is the second of ten that will delve into getting and staying motivated to run stronger. Check out #1 Here.