Preparing to walk or run in a race

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If you have plans to walk or run in a 5K, 10K or other type of fitness event, preparation is important. Heather Foy, Wellness Coordinator at Norton King’s Daughters’ Health, and longtime runner, provides the following tips to help you get started …

  • Choose a race and register!  Paying to register not only ensures an “early-bird” discount, but it also gets a date on the calendar to hold you accountable.
  • Put a training plan in place.  Count backwards from race day when deciding how many weeks it will take to build up mileage and stamina.  There are many training programs available free on-line.
  • Know that set-backs may happen.  While we don’t plan to skip workouts, missed days are sometimes a reality – perhaps due to an illness or injury.  Don’t give up your training plan, even if you have a delay or difficulty with training.  Make adjustments and press forward.
  • Seek advice from seasoned race-goers.  Experienced runners and race walkers have many finish lines under their belt.  They can share training tips and race-day tips.  The running community is supportive and will share pre-race nutrition tips, race-day hydration secrets,  shoe and gear advice and other helpful tips.
  • Remember the value in proper fuel and rest.  Hydration, healthy eating habits and sleep are all part of fueling your body and recovering.
  • If you are solo on race day, be brave to make a new friend.  Chatting with others during pre and post-race activities will help calm nerves and bring smiles.  There are always experienced race-goers who can help you attach an electronic chip timer, warm-up and stretch with you, or share pace tips.
  • Find small ways to remember the race experience.  You will feel the rush of the finish line when you cross it, but making memories is part of the experience.  Consider keeping your race bib and record your finish time on the back, take pictures, thank a water stop volunteer, and stick around for any post-race awards ceremonies to cheer on others.  At bigger races, music, professional photos, and free swag are part of the fun. 

Each September, Norton King’s Daughters’ Health hosts its annual Run the Falls 5K at Clifty Falls State Park in Madison. This 3.1 mile road course winds through beautiful Clifty Falls State Park. This year’s date is Saturday, Sept. 28. Registration information will available soon.

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