9 Race-Day Tips for First-Timers

6. Do a light warm-up prior to the race. A good warm-up would be walking or light jogging for five minutes and possibly some very light stretching. You should never stretch cold muscles, so if you do stretch, make sure you have warmed your muscles with walking or jogging first. And any pre-run stretches should be very light—save the deep stretches for after the run. You could also use the first five to 10 minutes of the race as your warm-up—just remember to jog slowly and try not to get caught up in the pack of faster runners.

7. Line up with runners of similar ability. Find the part of the pack that runs your pace. If you run a 10-minute mile, for example, you do not want to be at the front of the pack. You will likely get swept into a pace that is too fast, resulting in a negative experience for you. It is also not fair to faster runners who will have to navigate around you.

More: How to Find a Race Pace That Works

8. Start slowly. It is very easy to get swept up in the excitement and head out too fast. Doing this begs for a bad race experience because you spent all of your energy too early in the race. As mentioned above, think of the first five to 10 minutes as your warm-up and go slow.

9. Have fun! After all, what is the point of races if you do not enjoy yourself?

More: How to Find Fun in Every Run

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