Sunday, September 1, 2013

Preparing for the “Run for a Cure Africa” in November? Some Tips for First-Time Runners

Run for a Cure Africa started in 2009 with the vision of turning the Breast Cancer mortality rate in Africa into the Breast Cancer survival rate. In November 2013, the organization will be hosting another race in Lagos, Nigeria to garner awareness of breast cancer prevention and survival. Eights & Weights is partnering with Run for a Cure to bring you weekly tips on preparing for the big race!

Registration opens in a few days, and there will be more information about the race date and registration this week. Now on to your tips!

If this is your first time running a race, it is very important to plan so that you not only complete the race in good time, but also so you take care of your body and prevent injury. This is where a well-defined training program comes in.
  • Test the waters: You might think “Well, it’s just one race”, but it really is very important to see how your body reacts to running before you go out and run competitively. Basically, race day should not be your first time. Lagos is a pretty hot and humid city, and so the weather has a direct impact of how you run. Even if you have run in another city, take your body for a spin.
  • Monitor race times: For competitive runners, the major goal is always doing better than you did the last time. If you are looking to run leisurely, this may not matter to you. But if you are looking to run well, as you train, make sure every run is better than the last. That means even if you complete your practice races in 2 seconds less time than you did last week, that will end up being a whole lot of seconds on the final day.
  • Have a goal: What are you trying to achieve with the race? Don’t rapidly put your body through so much without figuring out what the purpose is. Are you doing it as part of a weight loss goal? Then how well you run should be based on where you are with that goal. Are you trying to improve your performance? Then your time is everything.
  • Don’t wait till the last minute: Some of us are all about procrastination (yes, you), but when it comes to making sure your body gets the proper training, start training early! If this is your first race, you should pretty much start training now, if you haven’t already. That gives you a chance to figure out what works and doesn’t work for you, if you are able to run the distance, what the correct running posture is, and what your finishing time looks like.

So your big question now probably is: “Where do I start?”. I’m a big supporter of the ‘Just Do It’ club. Go out for a run and see how your body takes it. If you’ve never run before, run 1km and see how you breathe first. Then the next time you run, try to run a little more, and then a little more the third time. After the third time, when you are a little bit confident in the fact that you are capable, start to focus on your posture. Then every time you run, try to increase your distance.

That’s it for this week. Look out for race prep tips every Sunday evening till the big race in November.

For more information about the organization and the race, please visit Run for a Cure.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

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