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Do you remember the first time?

Nerves, niggles and nausea, a runner’s first mass-participation event can be a fraught experience. Fortunately, we’re here to help


While there’s a first time for everything, that still won’t make your debut race any easier. You may feel excited. You may feel nervous. You’ll definitely feel like turning on your heel and making a run for it. But save that impulse for the starting gun, as even though taking part in a mass-participation event can be as emotionally up and down as a Highland’s trail course, getting that first race under your belt can pave the way for a beautiful running relationship.

There are thousands of running events in the UK every year and for many runners they are a focus for all the hours they spend out on their feet. Whether it’s your inaugural 5K or your first crack at an endurance event, there are few hard and fast rules that are worth bearing in mind. The first time you do anything can always be potentially tricky, but when it comes to your race debut take heart from two things: firstly, no matter how good or experienced those around you may be, they have all been in your position at some point. Secondly, running is a closeknit and friendly community, so you won’t be short of support and advice as you toe the line for the first time.

And don’t think that if you’ve got a few races to your name you can’t learn any new tricks. When it comes to preparation finessing, the process is key, so use this feature to refresh your memory; there may be a piece of advice that’s new to you, or that you’ve forgotten.

So pin your number to your jersey (and don’t forget the extra safety pins – someone will ask to borrow some) and lay out your kit the night beforehand – you’re more ready than you think you are.

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Men's Running - Jun-17
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About Men's Running

By the time you read this, the spring race season will be well and truly underway and those of you who have trained for a specific event will hopefully have seen the fruits of your labours in PBs and long-held goals achieved. Once you’ve completed a big event it’s understandable to want to take a few days off before running again. But sometimes those days can become weeks, the weeks months, and before you know it you’re no longer on talking terms with your trainers. To stop that from happening, we take a look at the opportunities open to runners who find themselves with all the fitness but not the focus. One obvious path is to take your running abroad. As any seasoned traveller will tell you, the best way to explore a location is by foot and that certainly proved to be the case for our writer, Simon, who decided to combine his passion for running with a life-long ambition to visit Cuba (page 34). If you fancy something closer to home you can utilise the very powerful bit of tech on your wrist to create some new training goals (page 48), or follow our expert advice on how to make the move from tarmac to trail (page 23). Or, if you’re already au fait with off-road, why not take a leaf out of Kilian Jornet’s book and run up Mount Everest (page 54)? For more inspiration on what to do with your current peak condition head over to and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.