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If you're new to running and are preparing for a race, training can seem daunting. You've got to follow a plan, stick to it and overcome mental barriers to accomplish your goals. Top fitness advocates, all of which have run a variety of races, gave their best advice for training for a race. We hope this advice helps you as you train for the OrthoCarolina 10K Classic and Around the Crown 10K.
"Running, distance running in particular, is 50 percent physical and 50 percent mental. You really need to be in touch with your mind and body, and self as a whole, when you are out for a long race. Set lofty but realistic goals, and go easy on yourself. Train with friends to make it fun. Compete with yourself, not others. It is absolutely great if you crush your first race or even show up in a way where you surprise yourself, but creating space to see improvement over time is equally fulfilling."
"Set a goal to train at least three to four times per week. Training could consist of running one to two miles each time your train, and then adding half a mile or a full mile the following week. Always record your finish time, so you can set a goal to get faster each day! You also need to find a support group or accountability partner to keep you on track. Have them check in each week to see if you’re reaching your goals; they may even decide to join you for the race. Have fun with your training! It’s your first race, so do not stress about not getting the best time! Finally, practice on the race course. As you improve in your training, start running the course so you can get comfortable running that route."
- Bre Leach
"Take each day one day at a time. Some days will be far above your expectations. Some will be well below. Remember on both good and bad days you learn something that will help you in your race."
"The best advice I can give to a first-time runner is to throw specific goal times and paces out the window. Your first race you should run for the pure satisfaction of crossing that finish line. The first race is an accomplishment in its self and its a good way to set the bar for races to come. Finish this race in good spirits, injury-free and ready to celebrate with family and friends. There will be plenty of time down the road to set and break those PRs. For now, simply enjoy the moment!"
"Start small and incrementally increase your distance, and find an accountability partner to either train with you or check in on your progress."
- Aaron Dodge
"Take it slow. When we build too fast, we get injured. Find a good plan that has you building slowly and incorporating other forms of working out. Enjoy the process and use it as an opportunity to learn more about yourself and to take care of your mental health."
Like this advice? Meet our runners: