Most of us step up to our first starting line a little, well, naïve. Whether your brother convinced you to come to a 5K with him or “it’s for a good cause,” most of us have a “nontraditional” path to the starting line. There’s some things we think you should know before you get there (and some things you’ll laugh about reminiscing about your first race).
Get comfortable with the Port-o-Potty
Seriously. There’s a 90% chance there won’t be “real” bathrooms at your first race. It’s time to conquer your fears because if you’ve gotta go—you’ve gotta go. We promise you’ll get used to it. Here’s a little bit of advice: the earlier you use them the fresher they are.
Runners are weird
We mean this in the best way possible, but it’s the truth. You’re probably going to find yourself wondering at least one of the following: “Why are these people running before the race even starts?” “Is the even really a stretch?” “Why is that man eating some sort of space food?” “What on earth is Body Glide? Should I be worried?” Runners do weird things, but it’s not just for the heck of it. Every runner has their own routine, and you’ll find the more you run, you’ll end up with some “weird” routine too.
You better like bananas and bagels
Some where along the way, someone told somebody else that runners only like to eat bagels and bananas, because that’s all you’ll find at the end of your race. But in all seriousness, these foods will help you recover after you’ve crossed the finish line. Between the two, you’ll be refueling with carbs and potassium and they’re easy to digest. Don’t wait too long after your run to get something in your stomach!
Running is important…before the race.
If you didn’t do much (or any) training and thought you’d just show up and race, chances are this wasn’t the most fun you’ve had. Logging some training miles before race day seems like a no brainer to make race day easier. Find a training partner or join a training group to help prep you for race day!
You won’t be able to stop.
The running bug is real and hard to avoid. Being a “one and done” runner is pretty much impossible. Before you know it you’ll be looking for you next race to sign up for, going out for a run midweek and looking to run stronger, longer and faster! Running has the rare characteristic of being an activity that can be rewarding for the rest of your life. If you catch the bug, we can promise amazing memories, rewarding moments and some of your best friends are ahead of you.