Training for a Race

10 Tips for Training for your First Race

1 – Regular training:

Write your training scheme into a diary or calendar. There are three training plans (for beginning runners, intermediate and advanced) provided by Epilepsy Action for the Bradford 10k. Best to follow the scheme strictly.

However tired you feel, you’ll probably feel better afterwards. Exercise generates energy. On the other hand, don’t make training a cause of stress; missing a session isn’t a disaster, and don’t try and double up later.

2 – Clothing:

Invest in a good pair of shoes. They’ll probably cost £80. Get them from a specialist sports or running shop where they can do tests to find the pair that fits your feet and running style best.

On cold days wear extra layers, with the top layer being wind- and rain-proof. On the other hand, most days you’ll soon warm up.

3 – Food:

To prevent stomach problems, don’t eat for a good two hours before a session. Carbohydrates (pasta, brown bread, wholegrain rice) are good, as well as lots of greens and fruit. Unless you’re out for more than an hour, you don’t really need special sports drinks or supplements.

4 – Doctor:

If you are overweight, suffer heart or breathing difficulties, you should consult your GP before embarking on a training regime.

5 – Overtraining:

Keep your enthusiasm in check. Training too hard or not taking enough rest are both counter-productive. Keep to the rest-days in the training scheme and stick to the overall plan.

Rule 1: You should be able to talk easily during most of your runs.

Rule 2: Don’t start off too fast; in other words, it should feel slow at first. Aim to pick the speed up during the session.

6 – Stretching:

Stretching strengthens muscles, and makes joints more elastic and supple. This reduces the chance of injuries. Do a series of stretches about ten minutes after you’ve started; your muscles are warmed up then and respond better. But don’t stretch so that you hurt yourself. Do the same at the end of the session.

7 – Shortage of Time:

Armchair athletes always complain about lack of time. How many hours do you spend in front of the box compared with the time it takes for three sessions jogging. If possible, run in the morning – you feel virtuous for the rest of the day.

8 – Companionship:

Running with others is always easier. Find like-minded people of a similar pace. Choose different routes, to keep things interesting. For those running the EA Bradford 10k and you want to find a local group of runners in the Bradford area, contact Airedale Athletics or sign up on this site.

9 – Improvement:

The first weeks are the worst. After that, it gets easier. A lowered pulse-rate (when measured at rest at the same time each day) is a good indicator of improving health. You should find it easier to run faster; if you persevere you may even get to feel the runner’s high.

10 – Goals:

Set yourself a clear, challenging, but achievable, goal. You’ll be surprised what resources you have within yourself.

Good luck! And add any questions or other suggestions below.

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