Har-har-har. I prolly know less about prepping for a race than all of my readers out there. But…this is MY racing advice!!
1. Race size matters.
If you are a new racer and you wanna win, then look for smaller races because it’s a lot easier to win those!! I won second place in the Sunset Shuffle last Fall, but it was a considerably small race, about 200 competitors. Which means, that depending on your age, the levels of competition will be different sizes but still relatively small. However, if you are looking for fun, go for the big races. These races have such a fun vibe and everyone is friendly and excited. I personally prefer big races to small ones but that I just my preference.
2. Constantly search for races.
Usually, though out the year I am too busy for races, but sometimes I get the sudden urge to race. Just a longing. This is why, even when you don’t wanna race, you should keep on top of races happening in the near future: so that whenever you do get that urge, you can know about races that are happening and you won’t have to spend tons of time looking for one.
3. Be picky.
Because let’s face it. There are LOTS of races out there. If you aren’t thrilled about the one you signed up for or are going to sign up for then don’t. You will be wasting money and time. Be excited about your race.
4. Racing is good for your running.
So try to run at least one race each season or so… When you sign up for a race, you have a goal to work towards. Also, people tend to run faster than usual during races and there’s nothing more encouraging than finishing with a PR!!
5. Sign up at least a month before the race.
Some races fill up really quickly. So sign up as soon as you can. Another advantage to this is that races usually have Early Bird rates that are at least $5 cheaper than later rates, and let’s face it, Racing is somewhat expensive.
6. Wear tried and true things for your race.
Don’t wear new shoes. Wear your favorite running clothes. Maybe your lucky shirt or your comfiest leggings. Lots of people like to run in their race shirt but I prefer to wear my own clothes during the race and then change in to the race shirt after I’ve completed it.
7. Make sure you understand the General Information.
Make sure you know exactly what time you need to be at the race (usually 1/2 hour before the start), where the race is, what the route is, time estimation, HOW LONG IT IS, parking, what you need to bring (receipts…), etc.
8. Bring a camera.
You will not want to forget this!!!
9. You don’t HAVE to bring water.
Unless you are a super thirsty person, you will be fine. Most races have a water stop at every mile or so. Halfway through half-marathons, they will provide you with a gel. For me, it’s WAY too sugary and thick to eat when I’m all half-dead, so I bring a granola bar or whatever.
10. Brink a jacket for spring, fall, and obviously, winter races.
Because especially when the race is in the morning, it’s chilly out before you warm up while running. And after the race, you don’t want to get chilled, so bring a clean shirt and jacket to change into.
11. The clothes people throw off during races are donated to charity.
So if you don’t wanna part with it, bear with it.
12. Look at past race results in your age group or sex group.
That way you can know what to train for. Even if you are not winning-oriented, it’s still good to know what you are up against and it’s good training to try to get as good as the best! 🙂
13. HAVE FUN!
I will probably think of more things. And by the way, I’m probably running the Shamrock Shuffle!! YAY!