Here are some of the points from the article along with my two cents:
- register early - as the race date nears, the registration fee increases
- start training early - too often folks are turned off to running because they raced without the proper preparation; if you allow time to work up your endurance to 4 miles for your first 5K (3.1 miles), then the 3.1 miles will seem like a breeze!
- ask a friend to register with you - there is huge power in the buddy system, plus it's more fun to participate in a running event with friends!
- pick up your packet early - the packet contains various pieces of information (race route map, bib number, etc.); a lot of times - but not always - races allow day-of-race packet pick-up, but I strongly recommend picking up your packet early to review the materials and not be rushed the morning of the race
- set a (realistic) goal - if it's your first race, aim to finish; next time you race that distance, aim to better your race time
- stretch, ibuprofen and ice/heat - anytime after a hard workout or race you need to baby your muscles; stretch them, pop some anti-inflammatories, and ICE! Icing works miracles! On the other hand, my mom swears by heat therapy (read: soaking in the hot tub with her legs on a jet). Other folks swear that alternating heat and ice works best - find what works well for you.
- repeat - registering for another race gives you a goal to work towards. I can testify that spending money on all that registration keeps me motivated to stick to my training, which leads to fun races, which keeps me happy and healthy!
For more information about running - including information about your first race, vocabulary, etiquette, and nutrition - check out the Track Shack's Runner 101 website!