4 Things to know about entering your first running event
1. You may instantly regret the decision
Most registrations are done online, and once you have clicked confirm you may experience a sick feeling in your stomach!!
The reality of what you have committed yourself to doing kicks in - and immediately you will start you question yourself "Why did I say I would do this? " "What made me think this is a good idea?" "Can I even do this?"
Embrace these questions! These are the questions that this running event will answer for you. The uncertainty of whether you can complete the event will be the driving force behind your training. It will get you out of bed when you would rather roll over, and it will push you to finish a session strong when you would rather just slow down.
The nerves you are feeling are completely normal - and might even be with you right up until you cross the finish line! These nerves are just your intuition, telling you that something completely amazing is about to happen - you will amaze yourself by what you are capable of achieving!
2. It takes a village
There will be people that cock their heads to the side and ask you "Why would you want to do that?" as you excitedly tell them about the running event you have entered. Stay away from these people - you don't need their doubt and limitations placed on you.
Seek the people who believe in you, and will affirm that a challenge will bring out the best in you! A Vision Personal Training run club is often a great way to stay motivated to go on a long run. The collective energy will push you along - and may even increase your pace! Being accountable to like minded people who rely on you to motivate them just as you rely on them is very powerful! A coffee catch up after the run is often an effective incentive too!
If you are running alone, downloading some great music you enjoy listening to or an audio book can keep you stimulated and make the time you spend training seem to fly by - your headphones will be just as important as your running shoes!
3. You will be sore before and after
In training for a running event, it is likely that you will increase the duration and intensity of your exercise sessions. Your body will not always be impressed by the challenging goal you have set for yourself so it is very important to ensure you incorporate stretching into your program to avoid injury.
I also highly recommend that you invest in a massage once a week during training, and have a massage booked for the day after your running event (go on - you will definitely deserve it!)
Anna Barton, Director of Body Matters Massage Therapy in Ponsonby Auckland explains in detail the benefits of regular massage in accelerating recovery after training. "Whether you are training for the marathon, playing your team sport, or simply working out to keep fit and healthy, a skilled sports massage has many benefits will assist and increase your performance. Massage throughout your training schedule will address any issues that may arise, significantly decreasing risk of injury, as well as can prevent or speed up recovery of injury. Massage will increase your muscle tone and prevent or relieve delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) by encouraging blood and lymph flow throughout the body, and will flush metabolic wastes i.e. lactic acid that build up during training, as well as prevent muscle fatigue. Massage can also help a person manage stress by releasing endorphins that will provide pain relief, as well as can increase your energy levels. And lets not forget it feels really good!"
4. You will be changed forever
Completing a running event will not be the end of your journey - it will be the beginning. Throughout the run, you will be challenged - and that is the whole point! As you approach the finish line, you will be filled with an overwhelming sense of pride. You will have a new respect for your own commitment to exercise and your body's ability to perform. The smiles and celebration of fellow runners and the friends and family who have been waiting to see you finish is completely euphoric!
You will proudly wear your finishers medal and grin all the way home, recounting the times you just wanted to stop - but how amazing it felt when you just kept going!
You will be encouraging loved ones to enter a running event because you want them to enjoy the same experience - and you might even offer to enter it with them! You have become an inspiration for those around you. A positive role model. A bright and brilliant energy that makes the most of health and wellness and doesn't shy away from a physical challenge.
Even if you never enter another running event again, the fact that you know you can complete something you set your mind to will change your training back in the studio. A half hour hard cardio session somehow seems less daunting, because you know that your body is most definitely up for a challenge! You will never again look at yourself and just appreciate what you look like - you will appreciate what your body is capable of.
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.