Running is a great form of exercise that works out the entire body. But most people who are not already interested in running tend to think of running as something they would do to get away from danger, not something they would do voluntarily. However, if you decided to try out running, or if you’ve been running for a while and you’re preparing for your first big race, there are some things you should know that will help make the process will easier. Whether you’re training for your first 5K or your first marathon, following a few simple tips can help make the process fun and a little less painful.
The More the Merrier
Some people enjoy running, particularly distance running, for the solitude provides them. But most people find it rather boring to spend a good amount of time on the road by themselves. If you’re preparing for a race, try to find other people who will run with you. Not only will this keep you on schedule during training, but it’s always rewarding to celebrate your victory with others who have run the race with you. Whether you gather up some friends or join a local running club, having a community of support and encouragement can help make training and running fun, and can help you succeed.
Have a Plan
Having a plan is one of the most important things you can do to help yourself succeed when training for a race. Some people like to just go out and run for a little bit every day, and for some people this might work. But for most people, it is important to have a plan that will allow you to increase your mileage at a realistic rate, and that is designed so that your training peaks around race day. This is particularly important if you are running distances longer than a 10k. In general, you should not increase your weekly mileage more than 10 percent per week. For instance, if you run 15 miles one week, you should run no more than 16.5 miles the next week. Having a plan for success is essential to making the training and running process enjoyable and doable.
Don’t Neglect Nutrition
People who are training for their first race, or even for their first long-distance race, often fail to pay attention to nutrition. The nutrition required for a runner is very different than the nutritional plan you probably follow on a regular basis. For one thing, it is essential that you eat enough. Secondly, you need to make sure that you’re getting enough of the right foods. Oftentimes people think that since they’re running so much they can eat whatever they want. But this is not the case. You need to make sure that your eating as clean of a diet as possible, and including things like fruits and vegetables, whole grain, low-fat dairy, and lean meat. If you are vegan or vegetarian, stock up on nutrient dense fruits, brown rice, beans, and tofu. Finally, make sure that you are consuming the right ratio of carbohydrates,