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6 Tips You Must Keep in Mind for Your First Long Distance Race
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Summary: Running your first long distance race? Here are 6 things you can to do help make it a success.

Fall is here and it’s the season of races for runners around the U.S. Some of the most famous races in the country take place during October and November, including the New York Marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon and the Chicago Marathon. Along with these big races, there are countless other marathons and half marathons taking place as well. The crisp weather is ideal for racing conditions, drawing people outdoors and onto the road. These big events are often huge draws for people new to long-distance running, which can be very exciting. However, if you’re one of the many newcomers, there are several important things to keep in mind while training for and running your first long-distance race.

  1. Don’t worry about being perfect. When you’re given a training plan and then you find it to be too much or you’re starting to get injured, it’s okay to take a week off if you need to. It’s better to rest before the race and miss a week of training than to miss the race altogether because of an injury.
  1. Get new running shoes. If you’re training for a marathon, more than likely your shoes will lose their bounce at some point during training. Shoes are meant to last anywhere from 300-500 miles, usually leaning towards the former. Shoes with good support that aren’t worn down make a huge difference in preventing injury.
  1. Fuel properly. Fueling during your race can be confusing, so practice during your long runs to see what does and doesn’t work for your stomach. You should take in fuel about every 45 minutes, so plan ahead and know when and where along the course you’ll be able to do so.
  1. Don’t start too quickly. With the excitement of the big day, a lot of people will start out running too quickly and then burn themselves out. Be careful to keep a slower pace to find your groove and not to overdo it before you really get started.
  1. Remember that everyone is different. You’ll get a lot of advice while you’re training, including mine, but remember that you don’t have to take everyone else’s advice. Find out what works well for you and go for it.
  1. Enjoy the race. You put in the hours, the miles and the money. Now is the time to ENJOY your first race. Don’t go too fast. Instead, make sure you look around and enjoy the cheering and the race course. That way you may actually want to do it again sometime.

  
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