If you're coming off the couch this year for your first race, use these tips for a successful event.
1. Slow Down
Don't be afraid to mix walking with your running.
- Walk five minutes and run two minutes
- Repeat for three to five repetitions.
- Do this for three or four days a week
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2. Increase Mileage
Build mileage by decreasing the walk intervals and increasing the run intervals for a couple of days. Keep one or two of the days at the lower walk/run intervals to allow your body to get used to the change.
After a few weeks of building up, take a week to taper (cut back). This will help your body recover from your new exercise program. Then gradually, build back up. For some, the walk/run intervals will be fine. For others, you may be able to run for longer than two minutes.
3. Have a Specific Goal Race
Have a goal race (maybe a 5K or a mile fun run) to help keep you motivated. Look for races in your area and pick one that sounds like a lot of fun. Invite some friends along so you can do it together.
When you find a race, sign up for it right away. Mark the date on your calendar, stick it to your fridge, put a reminder on your phone or anywhere else you may see it. That date can help you get out the door when motivation is low. You'll be glad you did it.