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Digital Subscriptions > Women’s Running > February 2017 > FIRST CHOICE

FIRST CHOICE

READY TO RACE BUT NOT SURE WHERE TO START? LET US HELP!

You’ve made the decision – you’re ready to try your first race. Congratulations! Now there’s just the small matter of deciding which race you should enter. Hopefully our list of 100 great events in the first half of 2017 will help but, even if you have a distance in mind, or a couple of contenders, there are a few things you need to check out before you fill in that entry form.

CONSIDER TIMESCALE

If you started running last spring, there’s a good chance you’re already fit enough to complete your chosen race. But it’s still a good idea to think about how long you’ll need to train to achieve the finish time you’d be happy with – and, more importantly, to finish comfortably and enjoy the race! If you would like to run a 10K, give yourself at least six weeks training; for a half or marathon, you’ll need 12-16 weeks; and, for anything longer, you should look at a four or five-month build-up. Want to plan in more than one race? Make sure you give yourself enough time to recover in between events.

THINK ABOUT LOGISTICS

When you’re planning your perfect race, you’re probably not imagining a panicked journey to the start or reaching the line hungry because you couldn’t eat breakfast. Always think about the logistics of your chosen race: check out the start time and make sure you’ll be able to get there (and park if you’re driving). If you need to stay overnight, research the area and find accommodation that will offer an early breakfast – and think about whether you’ll want to shower and change afterwards. Check out the route to find out how accessible it is for spectators. These little details can make or break you on race day.

FIND YOUR SUPPORTING ACTS

Crowd support makes a huge difference to your race experience, particularly if you’re a first-timer. Of course, you might be a shy runner who prefers to go it alone – in which case go for something low-key! But, if you’re doing your first half or full marathon, it pays to find a big-city event or one where you know there will be crowds at several spots on the route. The sound of them cheering for you can really help pick you up when you start to flag!

The support of spectators – particularly friends – can provide a huge morale boost
© DILLON BRYDEN FOR VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON

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About Women’s Running

Get set for a great year with the new issue of Women’s Running! We’ve got three four-week plans for you to set up a brilliant year of running and get back into shape – and we’ll show you how to hit your racing weight when you’re training for marathon. Fundraising for a spring marathon? Find out how to raise thousands of pounds by the women who’ve done it. And don’t enter your 2017 races without reading part one of our 2017 Ultimate Race Guide, with 100 brilliant events you’ll love to do up to June this year. Plus, we’ve got healthy recipes for runners, a guide to avoiding fatigue while you’re training, and six of the best running watches for women. Grab your copy today!
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