. . . that are true for experienced runners tackling new distances, too
Have you ever run with new runners? There’s often an energy around them — excitement, anxiety, fear of being last — and you find yourself assuring them that yes, they can do it, and no, don’t worry about your finish time.
I am joining the Friday Five 2.0 from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy and sharing five things I have told new runners time and time again . . . and had to be reminded of myself as I tackled a new distance.
Don’t worry about your finish time
I’ve lost count of the number of new runners I’ve told this to. I totally get it: you’re scared of being last. Chances are pretty good you won’t be. But if you are? You know what, you have nowhere to go but up. And it’s not the end of the world, either, it’s much better to finish a race than never start at all, or DNS (Did Not Start) as we experienced runners like to say.
Trust your training
Rachel @ Runningonhappy can confirm that I can obsess a bit about the unknown. Luckily I have her in my corner, though, so I don’t have to stress too much about it.
Big goals seem scary; absolutely. A good coach or training plan will break it down into baby steps. What seems super scary in the beginning will eventually seem doable.
You still need to watch your nutrition
One of my goals for the 1812 Challenge was to not gain weight. I didn’t gain a lot, but I’m still at a weight that’s not quite comfortable for me. And it’s not just melting off of me now that those really long long runs are done. I’m not quite sure why.
I thought I did a pretty good job watching what I ate. I’m also pretty sure there was just too many treats and desserts for this vertically challenge body, because, you know, I ran 18 miles.
Long story short, “if the oven is hot enough the food will burn” is not true. In other words, unless you’re genetically gifted, you’ll still have to watch what you eat. Better nutrition will also mean better running and recovery.
Training is practicing for race day
When I mentored the challenge group this spring, so many runners started peppering us with questions about how to drink, eat for breakfast, and what to wear on race day as the big day approached.
Your training runs are for figuring all those things out, and that’s why runners love to say nothing new on race day — do what you did during your training. If you just ran, just run. If you used run/walk intervals, use them in your race, too. Eat the same breakfast you did before your training runs. Never forget:
Nothing new on race day!
Don’t worry about what is coming up
If you have an entire training plan laid out for your race, some of those runs are probably going to look scary. 15 miles? Ok, that’s just 2 more than a half. But 17?
That is what training is all about. You will get there. Training prepares you for the big day, baby step by baby step. Just like in a race, don’t think about too far down the road. Run the mile you’re in. If you’ve put in the training, trust it.
What would you tell someone running their first race?
What have you relearned as you’ve tackled new distances?
Which of these are most important to you?