Training for your first race, 10K, or even a marathon, is an accomplishment no matter how you slice it. To do it successfully takes perseverance, gumption, and a few hacks we’ve compiled to ensure you get the most out of every step. You don’t even have to let a new addition to your family keep you from logging kilometres hitting the pavement. Here are the best running tricks and tips to get you ready for your first race.
If you knock out a kilometre or two during your normal exercise routine, the thought of a marathon might be more aspirational than realistic. If you’re nervous about biting the bullet and making a go of training, you should learn what goes into a marathon. Take stock of what prepping for a 40km slog requires (it’s more than some compression shorts).
Here’s a secret for you: you don’t have to maintain that pace during your first 5K. If those five kilometres are a little too much for your body to handle all in one go, you should take a walking break and use the slower pace to regain your composure and maintain your pro-running outlook (it beats wheezing until you fall over).
Running sneakers are great, but there are alternatives to enveloping your feet in rubber and whatever Nike’s Flyknit material is. You’ve probably seen those runners hitting the pavement with weird toe shoes (that, well, aren’t as great as they claim to be), but you can ditch the weird podiatric contraption for something a little more minimal: your bare feet.
A word of warning to new runners: take it easy, or you’ll hurt yourself.
So you’ve logged kilometres on the treadmill, run a few laps around your local track, and even done some trail running during one of the nicer fall days. As your big race day approaches, why not treat yourself before the race with some brand new shoes? Not only will they look fly as hell on race day, science says the right kind of shoe will actually make you faster.
Congratulations, new parents! You’ve got yourself a brand new workout buddy. You don’t have to strap your offspring to your chest while you maintain your uphill sprint. Get a jogging stroller, and keep your dad bod at bay while you spend some quality time with your newest family member.
Want a firsthand account of what it takes to run a marathon? Our own Patrick Allan knocked one out earlier this year, and had a few gems of knowledge to share. His 40km race was gruelling, and involved a tweaked knee, but knowing when to show up, how to start out, and what to do when something goes wrong can make or break your first marathon.