Your first race?

My First Race

If this is your first race don’t be nervous – We have some handy tips below to guide you as Galway Bay Half Marathon, Marathon and 10K draws closer and you delve into the unknown!

Training:

  • Mixing up your training is key as your body must react and adapt, making it stronger. By altering training sessions and surfaces you are helping to prevent injury. Continue to build on your current fitness level with not only endurance sessions but short speed intervals, tempo runs and some hill sessions too.
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of weight training. Focus on lower body compound movements, like squats and lunges. Ensure you train the core muscles in the lead up to the race to improve posture, trunk stability and efficiency of gait.
  • Always warm-up and cool-down.

What to wear:

  • You don’t need to invest in the most expensive trainers if this is a new venture but do ensure you are protected.
  • With the unpredictable Irish weather it is best to wear a number of light layers. If needed then you can remove layers, leave them at a water station and they will be brought back to the finish area at the end of the race. If warm and bright a t-shirt and shorts or capri leggings will work best. If breezy, cold or raining choose a t-shirt or fitted sports top under a long-sleeve t-shirt, full length leggings and a shower-proof jacket. If you need to purchase any new running gear check out the Run Ireland Shop with Lifestyle Sports 
  • Make sure the apparel you choose is lightweight, breathable and moisture wicking – this will take the sweat away from the skin keeping you cool and dry – allowing your body to perform at its optimum. Jackets should be shower-proof only as completely water-proof clothing tends to be less breathable and this will cause overheating and discomfort.

Recovery:

  • Hydrate appropriately – as training increases so too should your water intake, if you are struggling now don’t worry this takes practice and you will get better. Buy a water bottle and carry it around as if it were your newborn baby, you go nowhere without each other! Tip: sip, don’t gulp.
  • Eat right – if your diet is poor your training will suffer. Make a note of what you are eating, cut down on sugar, processed foods and alcohol to help you train harder and feel better. Remember food is where you get vitamins, minerals, fibre and energy.
  • Help your body heal – supplements like whey protein or recovery shakes are advised post-training as they can be quickly absorbed by torn muscles, allowing them to repair and become stronger.
  • Mental vs physical battle – “mind over matter” is an excellent strategy that is not be underestimated. Controlling your emotions and pushing through tough patches will strengthen both body and mind.

Race Day:

  • Don’t get carried away with crowd, there will be a rush at the start but remember to run your own race. Pacing is important if you want to perform to the best of your abilities.
  • Before the gun goes for the race start try to relax, chat to fellow competitors, join the POWER Team warm-up and just soak up the atmosphere. Savour the moment because at that point you won’t be a “race-virgin” for much longer!
  • Stay positive and motivated throughout the race, your goal should be to enjoy the day and finish without injury or incident. Don’t fret over making a time – making the Olympic team is not a priority, just yet anyway!

Next time:

  • Never neglect your flexibility – stretching is so important, it lengthens muscles increasing freedom and range of movement. We will cover the basics to guarantee you’re still limber and loose for Galway Bay!

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