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Training Tips for Your First Race

By Sara Butler

Are you ready to bite the bullet and sign up for your first ride or run? Signing up for a 5K or bike race is a great way to keep your fitness goals moving forward. But if you’ve never participated in or trained for a race, there are some important points you must know.

Where to Start

Always remember to start small. You can’t go from a couch potato to an ultramarathoner overnight. Find a small race, a 5K walk or run, that you can take small steps to work toward and complete. Who knows? Today you may be sitting on your couch, but in two months you may be able to run a 5K -- the sky is the limit as long as you follow a few guidelines for safe training.

How to Prepare

You can prepare for your first race by:

  • Taking it easy – When you start out you should have one big goal and that’s to enjoy yourself. Find out what feels good to you as an exercise, what food fuels your body well, and what clothes allow you to move as necessary when you work out.
  • Not training too hard – It doesn’t matter if you’re swimming, walking, cycling, or running, you should never push yourself so far that you can’t talk as you train. If you find that you can’t speak, then slow down. And don’t forget to schedule rest days as a part of your training schedule.
  • Slowly increasing intensity – You may want to start with something as simple as a 15-minute walk, then work up over several weeks to 60 minutes per day. It’s important to slowly add in distance, time, and intensity to help you avoid injury.
  • Finding a partner – Do you know what’s better than training for a race? Training with a friend. They’ll be a great source of encouragement and help you stay motivated.
  • Taking pride in your accomplishments – You don’t have to be the fastest or in the best shape to take ownership of what you’re doing and what you’ve accomplished. If you run, tell people you’re a runner. Own it.
  • Staying motivated – After you complete your first race, find another. Planning the steps help you to keep going and reach for higher fitness goals.

So, are you ready to sign up for your first race? Go for it! 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Columbus, Ohio.

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