5 tips for running your first fun run.
OK you have done it! After beginning jogging a few months ago you have signed up for your very first... wait for it .. eeekkk FUN RUN. The 2 words you never thought could be said together - and only a few short months ago was to you, one of life's great oxymoron's.
But now you have this numbered bib with some pins sitting on your bed and you you are positively shitting yourself. This scenario plays out every weekend in every city in the world, so you are not alone.
I've seen hundreds of runners who never imagined being runners nervously approach their very first fun run. Hopefully if you have watched enough of our RUNNEZ virtual training a lot of that will stand you in good stead, but just in case here are my tips for finishing and ENJOYING your first fun run.
1. Be realistic- choose a local 5 km, and give yourself a good amount of time to train. But build up slowly, if the distance is daunting build up run/walking until you can run 15-20 min without stopping, see our beginner videos for help with this.
2. Follow a plan, the RUNNEZ beginner 5km plan for example. But as a simple rule 3 runs a week is enough. 2x RUNNEZ sessions and an easier longer run or run/walk per week. Just because you are new to the sport of running does not mean you can go about it willy nilly. Consistency and structure are kings.
3. Strength train - If you are running hard twice a week and long once a week, a vital ingredient must be to lift 1-2 times a week for 20-40 min. If you don't have access to any weights equipment you can do strength and mobility routines at home or the local park. Again, these can be found on our YouTube channel or via our RUNNEZ Virtual app.
The main goal here is to work on single leg strength and posterior chain strength as well as core stability.
4. Race week routine - Avoid making any sudden dietary or wardrobe changes on race day, leading into the week of the fun run do not buy a new pair of shoes, or eat at that "fancy Chinese joint down the road" we don't want any stomach upsets, blisters or lower limb issues that will jeopardise performance and enjoyment. Be happy with a model of shoe and purchase a new pair 4-5 weeks out to "run them in", and in regards to meals stick to what has worked for you in training runs. You can see our race morning meals on our app for ideas, but always make sure you try them before a few training sessions. Further to this, be sure your clothing is comfortable and has been worn in training sessions - we don't want any unwanted chaff mid race.
5. Enjoy every minute - Running can not be another mental stressor, it is your time. Its a beautiful physical stress but not a mental or emotional one. Appreciate the journey you have started, it will help your performance as well. Do not compare your self to others simply acknowledge how far you have come, and be very exited about running for the rest of your life. No sooner will you finish your first 5km then you be planning your next one.