Updated: Jan 3, 2020
You’ve been running for a few months and decided to sign up for your first race. It has come up faster than you thought and now race day is upon you. You are nervous but very excited. You ask your friends for advice and what not to do.
Well in order to be prepared, here are some go-to mistakes that runners make at their first race and how you can fix it.
You go out too fast- You are so amped up at the moment that you start the race at a much faster pace than you are used to running. About a mile in you feel tired because you have already exhausted yourself. Slow down, breathe and get into your rhythm of pacing yourself.
You drink too much water at the aid stations- You think you need to drink a lot of fluids at the race, but the last thing you want is to suffer from hyponatremia because you drank too much water. While you are training, you created a plan for yourself. Do not throw that plan away because you are caught up in the moment of the race. If you trained that way, race that way because it is what your body is used to.
Taking in nutrition you did not train with- To go off of the previous point, during your first race, you see the aid stations handing out gels or Gatorade and you think you need to have some because others are taking it. Don’t! Your stomach will do a really fun dance and land you in a porta-potty. If you never trained with it, don’t use it while racing.
You ate too much the night before and the morning of- Throughout your training, all you heard about was carbo loading the night before a race. So you went to a pasta place and ate your heart out. Well, morning rolls around and you feel overstuffed and do not know how you are going to run. Its ok to eat carbs the night before a race, but do not overeat because you think you have to. Make sure you eat a meal that is a blend of proteins and carbs.
Not taking advantage of the recovery time- Your race has ended and you immediately want to start running again. Give your body a break! Get a massage, foam roll, rest and treat your body with respect. You just overworked it and it needs a break. It’s ok to take some time off because the more time you take off, the more your body will be refreshed and happy to start again.
If you follow these tips, you will not only have a great race day but a fun time enjoying the moment of accomplishing this amazing goal.