Preparing for a Fun Run
With a host of fun runs and half marathons springing up all over the country, many of us will pick this time to (finally) stick to that New Year’s resolution of getting some exercise. Especially if it means donning a fancy dress costume and raising some money for charity into the bargain.
Attempting a fun run for the first time is a big deal and requires a lot of preparation. Here are some tips:
Firstly, get into the right mind set. Think about what you are doing and how wonderful it will feel when you’ve reached it, be it a charity goal, a personal achievement or both.
Nutrition – runners should load up on starchy carbohydrates, which release energy slowly. Pasta, potatoes and rice-based meals are ideal. Don’t forget fruit and vegetables, which provide vital nutrients. For a boost, try taking protein supplements, which help build lean muscle, gain more strength and can speed up injury recovery times.
Equipment – decent trainers are a must. Invest in a pair that will support your feet, designed especially for running. Additionally, purchase some padded socks, to prevent blisters and to provide further support. Appropriate clothing is essential: running gear trousers, shorts and t-shirts that don’t rub and sports bras for ladies. Even on short distances, ill-fitting or badly designed sportswear can cause rashes and itchiness.
Training – give yourself plenty of time to train and set up a realistic program which increases distance covered gradually. You don’t need to be able to run the length of the race, you’ll find on the day, buoyed by the crowd, that you will be carried along much further than you thought possible. Remember to warm up properly before training; torn muscles can take weeks to repair.
On the day – there will be thousands upon thousands of people present and getting to the race location might prove tricky, so make sure you’ve thought about how best to get there and back. Avoid driving if possible. Eat a good breakfast but in plenty of time to let it go down. With regard to drinking, the more you consume, the more you’ll need to stop, as it were, so be sensible. Water will be made available along the course, so there’s often no need to bring your own.
Where some race organizers provide lockers for personal belongings, not all do, so keep possessions to a minimum. If you’re wearing a jacket, make sure if can be tied round your waist later, when you get hot. Alternatively, many racers arrive wearing jackets fashioned out of bin liners that can then be easily discarded en route.
If you are meeting people, agree a location beforehand, as thousands of mobile signals can result in poor reception and you wouldn’t want to lose them, especially if they are your ride home.
Follow these tips for an enjoyable race and good luck. Now, ready, steady, go!