Article by Phindi Gule

Phindi Gule is a well-known South African media maven. She’s passionate about keeping fit and healthy which led her to completing her first Comrades Marathon in 2012 and a historical run across KZN in April 2016 together with her husband Kevin Burley. Phindi Gule founded the DurbanNite Race and is an ambassador of the Comrades Marathon, The Mandela Marathon, The Total Sports Women’s Race, New Balance, SANBS, Adopt a Child Foundation and the Global Face of Durban.

Running a race can be nerve wrecking, you’ve done all the training and come race day it’s time to perform. When it comes to your first race, it’s hard to know what to expect. If your first race is the upcoming Totalsports Women’s Race, these 5 tips for your first race will guide you from training to race day to crossing the finish line.

  1. Equipment

Before you start, make sure you take time and shop for a good running shoe. We all have different feet and styles of running so it’s important to get professional advice and even be tested to determine your style of running, how you land, and whether you are a neutral or pronator runner. Ladies, it’s not about finding a pink shoe that matches the rest of your apparel but finding a suitable shoe for your feet – one that will help you run comfortably. The wrong shoe could lead to ITB, loss of toe nails or blisters.

  1. Training

Try not to JUST show up on race day no matter how short the distance – YOU’VE GOT TO TRAIN. Get your body ready by training at least three times a week. This will help you on race day as you will be familiar with how your body responds when run. It’s never easy when starting. There might be some discomfort but you’ve got to push through unless it’s a life threatening pain/ discomfort. You must also from time to time train in the clothes and apparel you’ll be wearing on race day so that there are no surprises come race day.

  1. Be prepared

Register as early as possible and ensure that you have your race pack at least the day before the race. Be at the start at least 45 minutes before the race. Nerves may kick in so you want to have enough time to go to the toilet, calm yourself down and get in the zone.

  1. Run your own race

If you’ve trained, you should have a routine and a plan of how you want to tackle the race – STICK TO IT. It’s important to focus and run your race. Forget what everybody is doing, it’s their plan/ strategy…STICK TO YOURS.

  1. Fueling

You must have something to eat at least two hours before the race to keep your body going during the race. Ideally stick to what you normally take before training (hopefully nothing heavy) e.g. a smoothie, banana or breakfast bar. This is very important. If you don’t have ‘fuel’ your body WILL fail you – just like a car!

For more information and to sign up to the Total Sport Women’s Race click here

5 Tips for your First Race

Images courtesy of Phindi Gule

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