5 Essential Tips For Choosing Your First Race

Your first race can motivate you through the painful aspects of training.

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For a lot of beginners, muscle aches can be a frustrating part of the running process. One of the best ways to overshadow newbie pains is to put a race on your calendar. “The energy and excitement at a race—from start through finish—provide a boost of adrenaline runners refer to as ‘race-day magic,’” says  Lisa Reichmann, a running coach and co-owner of Run Farther and Faster in Washington, D.C. . Follow these guidelines for a snag-free event.

Choose a race close to home. You want to minimize logistical issues for your first event. A race that is only a car ride away allows you to stay relaxed the morning of the event Plus nothing is better than sleeping in your own bed.

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Pick a realistic distance you can accomplish. Start with a 1-mile fun run or 5K. You can dream of a marathon one day, but it might not be the best distance to start with.

Look for beginner-friendly races. Fun runs that are walker-friendly are always a good bet, especially if the thought of being times makes you nervous. Check out these race suggestions for running newbies for more ideas.

Recruit friends and family to cheer you along the course and meet you at the finish line. Nothing is more motivating than seeing a friendly face while you run.

Related: 13 Awesomely Perfect Spectator Signs

Relish in your accomplishment! Use those feelings of pride and achievement to mentally alleviate feelings of discomfort on upcoming jaunts. And don’t forget to sign up for your next race!