On Sunday I took part in Race for Life at Chester Race Course alongside a group of ladies who I work with. Not being the most athletic of all people (that’s an understatement) I was really nervous about the race as 5km to someone who has only dabbled in running seemed like quite the distance! I also had it in my head that it would be full of super athletic ladies and I would end up huffing and puffing miles behind everyone else. Actually, there were women there of all levels of fitness and the only thing that everyone took seriously was the cause; to kick cancer’s butt!
There was a wonderful atmosphere, both before the race and during. There were stalls, people selling flowers and a fun warm up that I unfortunately missed most of. Oh, and the best bit? Chester Racecourse is pet friendly so of course there was SO MANY DOGS!
I have been asked by Aqua Pura to share some of my hints and tips about Race for Life and running in general from a novice point of view. So here are a few hints and tips that I would share with anyone about to take part in their first Race for Life or other sponsored run!
Water is your friend
This is really obvious, but during any kind of exercise it is so important to keep yourself hydrated. Take a bottle of water with you on the route and also drink a little more water than you usually would throughout the rest of the day.
I am not the fittest person in the world, and my endurance levels leave a lot to be desired. But what got me through was definitely three lovely ladies whom I work with and was running alongside as well as all of the spectators who stood along the route clapping and cheering. It’s amazing how motivating others can be!
Try Couch to 5k
If you’re new to running and are a little stuck about where to begin then couch to 5k is invaluable. It is just as it sounds, the programme is developed to get you from a couch potato to a 5k-runner-extraordinare! It begins with very short bursts of jogging mixed with longer bursts of walking, whilst slowly but surely taking you up to running a full 5k over a period of weeks.
Eat Something Small Before Your Run
This is kind of obvious, but if there is one thing that is not a clever idea before a run is to eat a large meal. Something like a banana shortly before can be a great idea to keep you going throughout the race!
Rest Rest Rest!
You will be sore. You will be tired. You will probably be sweaty. So keep the rest of your day free to let your body recuperate. Treat yourself to a big lunch and a glass of wine; you deserve it!
Whilst I was already running Race for Life and would have posted about it anyway, I was asked by Aqua Pura to share my experience and some tips on training as a part of their ‘Race for Life Champion’ campaign. In return they very kindly sent me some water and other bits for the race and also a very kind donation of £50 to my teams Just Giving page.