What to Expect on Race Day.
Getting ready to gear up for your first race day? It might feel a bit intimidating at first because it’s a brand-new experience. However, it feels exhilarating at the same time. You’re taking on this new challenge that will test your physical and mental prowess. Not only is this gratifying, but you’ll have a lot of fun as well. Here are some things to expect on your first race.
Preparing the Night Before
Preparation is key. However, you can also make it a fun experience. You don’t want to stress yourself out the day of the race. You can start by getting your outfit together. If the temperature is supposed to be 70 degrees, find a fun and functional running outfit that will work well in 85-degree weather. If the weather is chilly, add a few items you know you’ll be comfortable wearing. Remember, your body heat increases as you start getting into your main stride.
Also, don’t change up your routine. If you eat a banana and a bagel before your long runs, stick with the same plan. You don’t ever want to surprise your body because it may have an adverse effect. You might get diarrhea or some type of fatigue earlier than expected. The same goes for beverages. If water helps you hydrate more over sports drinks, then follow the same procedure. When you plan this out early, you’ll be able to relieve a bit of stress because you’re sticking to a consistent schedule.
Get There Early
The night before you head to the race, get some quality sleep. Wake up early in the morning to find parking but settle yourself. You might be a bit amped to get started. By checking in early, you'll be able to find a parking space and you can do a little prep talk. Sometimes you need a bit of time alone to calm your thoughts and give yourself some moments to reaffirm why you’re running this race in the first place.
Also, you can get a chance to use the bathroom before it gets crowded. Bring some of your own toilet paper because you never know if it’ll run out depending on the amount of people that participate in the race. You can also do some warming up, like jogging or walking around 5-10 minutes. Then you can lightly stretch to help loosen your body up. These are a few things to keep you focused on the task at hand.
Take in the Beautiful Scenery
One of the perks of running a race is seeing the scenery. Sometimes there are out-of-town people that haven’t been to a particular region, so they can take advantage of looking at a new place. Maybe the race is near some mountains. While you’re running, you can have a clear mind and take in some fresh air. It’s a good time to reflect on things and have a sense of peace. Get away from the world and just enjoy being in your own skin.
Also, you might be in a city. It could be fun seeing how live the place is while you’re running. Maybe you’ll pass by a place you can go to after you clean up from your long-run. It’s a cool way to cover a lot of ground and get familiar with some incredible sights and sounds. Different parts of the city are closed off during your race. Take time to get a more intimate feel of the area.
Getting Free Swag
We all love a new water bottle, shirt, or something to help make our workouts more efficient. One of the things that make marathons fun is the free swag you get just for participating. There are some great perks for finishing your race. For example, the Hershey Half Marathon gives the finishers not only some candy and shirt after the race, they’ll also get two free tickets to “Hershey Park in the Dark.” Talk about having some great fun with other like-minded people!
Some people might like to go to a nice sporting event. The Phillies Charities 5K not only offers a long-sleeved shirt and finisher medal, but two tickets to a Phillies game. Just imagine enjoying a nice game in some sunny weather while you think about what it took to get those tickets. It’ll certainly make the game much more memorable because you didn’t just buy the tickets. Your blood, sweat, and tears helped make it happen.
Ahhh!!! Free Food
After getting in shape, keeping to a specific diet, and just not eating a huge meal the day of the race, you need to re-fuel. While a nice snack and some water is fine during the race, the main meal comes right after. Luckily, there are a lot of races out there that serve brunch after the hard work is over. Also, restaurants in the area give out free food to people with their finishing medals.
One of the races that gives you a lot of outside perks is the London Marathon. Last year, a number of restaurants in the area gave people with finisher medals free food. The Baluchi at Tower Bridge offered complimentary butter chicken, or aubergine and tamarind curry, accompanied by fluffy pilau rice for racers that showed their finisher medal. For those that wanted to get that carb fix after the exhausting run, The Perseverance gave medal holders a free pizza. Talk about a nice and fun reward you can share with other participants. Wash it down with your favorite beer and take a load off. You’ve earned it!
Welcome to the Afterparty
After all of the hard work, you just want to kick back and enjoy yourself. Maybe you’re still on this adrenaline from a great run. Why not go to the afterparty?
Luckily, there are some great after parties to go to when you’re done with your run. Take in a pint of beer right after the Hot Dash 5K and 10 Mile in Minnesota. You’ll be accompanied by the beer choir as you have a great time hearing some live music.
Another cool marathon run would be the Rock n’ Roll Marathon in Washington DC. Not only do you get mimosas and beers if you sign up for the VIP treatment, but a nice massage. Just imagine getting pampered after running 13 to 26 miles. You can relax and recharge before heading to the concert or checking out the city.
A Great Way to Network
You never know who you’ll meet at a race that could inspire you or change your life. There are a lot of CEOs, executives, and creative people that run marathons. A 5 to 8-hour run could turn into building a valuable contact. You may run into someone at an afterparty or brunch that creates some type of rapport. Why? Well, both of you ran a race, so there’s already some camaraderie right off the rip. A good conversation can lead to a new number.
Maybe you have a great skill that the CEO could use. You never know how marketing yourself comes in handy even at a race. A race shows commitment. Commitment shows that you’re willing to get the job done. Not every has the mental and physical capacity to actually complete something like a half marathon or full one. That automatically separates you from the pack because a CEO knows you have determination. Even if you can’t do business with the contact, he may lead you to someone who could use your skills.
At the end of the day, it’s all about having confidence in yourself. Running a race is fun and has a lot of perks. However, one of the best things is knowing you can achieve a goal that you’ve set for months. As stated before, running a lot of miles takes a lot of mental and physical strength. Not to mention, a lot of will and heart. It’s very easy to fall off the wagon when you miss a workout or a run session. You might have to adopt a completely different eating regimen to help your body store the right energy for the duration of this physical task.
When you’re able to go into the race day and actually finish it, it makes you feel good about yourself. Also, getting into shape is the icing on the cake. You’ll lose some major weight with the amount of training you’ve done to prepare for everything. You’ll also feel rejuvenated as your body can perform at a peak level. It’ll make you feel more focused and be a good catalyst to help you in other areas of your life.
Your first race is not only a new experience but it helps to give you more benefits down the line. It’s a positive event that can be life changing. You’ll be able to meet like-minded people. Maybe your workplace has a team, so this can be an event to help create better synergy between you and the company. Either way, you’ll have a great time and remember something