How to Win Your First Race

If you are fairly new to running, cycling, swimming or triathlon you will be keen to get to your first event. Indeed, you may have already applied for and gained entry to some early season events in March/April. If you have that is great. If not then you should really get going as the early season events tend to get sold out quickly as I have found to my cost.

So, you’ve entered your first race? “Hang on, you just called them events, now all of a sudden its a race?” Look, if you are going to do it then you might as well look on it as a ‘race’ rather than just an event. Yes, you could go out there to ‘take part’ and enjoy yourself and the atmosphere, using this as an opportunity to learn the ropes. Where do you register, what is the start line etiquette, how to transition smoothly etc. But, let’s face it, you should have rehearsed everything before the big day and certainly read up on all of the do’s and don’ts. Therefore, get your head in the game and go for it. You can win this!

Yes, that’s right, you can win your first race. Let me be more specific. You can win your OWN race. Unless you have a unique gift or you have spent the last couple of years training Rocky style it is unlikely you will cross the finish line first, so be realistic. Instead, make sure you have set your time goals and aim to beat them. Don’t set easily achievable goals or you may be tempted to go slow. Set a time that is slightly faster than your best hard training times. The adrenalin and the atmosphere will have you pushing harder and faster than you realise and you will cross the finish line having won the race with yourself. And that, my friends, for your first event, is the most important race to win. Once you get your breath back and the feelings in your legs and arms return It will leave you exhilarated and thirsty for more. Next time you can try to beat yourself again and again and again. You will naturally find yourself placing higher in the field each time until that magical day when you win THE race not just your own.

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5 thoughts on “How to Win Your First Race”

  1. Great advice! I’ve done a few Parkruns but my first 10K race is in a couple of weeks. With 1600 runners out there, I know I will be at the very back of the pack, but getting out there and doing it will be a win in itself.

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