For many runners [seasoned + new], registering for a race is the perfect way to refocus yourself as a runner + begin a training plan you can stick to. Registering for a race gives you something to build towards, but when the race day is a few weeks or months out it can be easy to put training off + let the race sneak up on you.
Races are a big commitment — physically, mentally, timewise + even financially. Being #inCHAARG from day one of training through the moment you cross that finish line is the key to owning your race!
1] SET YOUR GOAL
If you’ve never run a race before, we recommend starting small. If you don’t normally consider yourself a runner [hint: you are ; )], registering for a race is the *perfect* opportunity to take charge + redefine what you believe you’re capable of. Taking on your first 5k is an impressive feat + once you’ve been bit by the running bug — you might just find yourself signing up for a half marathon ; ). Not ready to take on a longer challenge, but not new to the world of 5ks? Challenging yourself to knock some time off of your PR can be just as rewarding as running a new distance!
Working towards a goal is one of the best ways to make the most of a new fitness routine. Don’t be afraid to push yourself a little further than you think you’re capable of, instead of doubting your abilities — visualize yourself reaching you goals + use that as motivation to push yourself beyond the edge of your comfort zone.
2] REGISTER + COMMIT
Find a race you can take on + conquer. There are so many different races out there, so find one that fits your personality + interests. Running in the USA is a great resource for finding races in your area, but don’t be afraid to branch out — CHAARG girls from a different chapter would be happy to run with you!
If you’re participating in the current #runCHAARG campaign, make sure to join your fellow CHAARG girls on September 18 as we take on our 5k — together. If you don’t have a CHAARG chapter at your university [psst — you should start one ; )], reach out + ask #virtCHAARG girls in your area to conquer those 3.1 miles with you!
Oh — + did we mention the opportunity to earn an an entry in this year’s Run Like A Girl Half Marathon in Columbus? Yep! Running this *all female* race with your inspiring CHAARG girls is the perfect way to cap off your #runCHAARG journey! So, commit to the Rise + Run challenge + share your journey on your #inCHAARG instagram for a chance to win an entry!
3] PLAN + TRAIN
Training according to a scheduled plan is a great opportunity to really focus on improving yourself as a runner. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned marathoner, we all have room to grow. ++ kickstarting your day by getting in some early miles will help you stay on track for your 50 mile goal — especially if you have a jam-packed schedule!
If you’re not sure where to begin, the Nike+ Running App [one of our fav ways to log miles] has various training plans + allows you to change the intensity to suit beginner, intermediate, or advanced runners. Looking for more of an *on-paper* training option? We’ve got you covered [; )] — check out these training plans: 5k, 10k, + 15k. But no matter which plan you choose, don’t cut corners. Rest + cross-training days are scheduled for a reason — overtraining +//or neglecting cross-training can leave you underprepared + puts you at a much higher risk for injury. Make sure you can properly commit to training + you prioritize listening to your body, so you don’t hurt yourself.
4] CROSS THE FINISH LINE
While it may seem far off when you first register + begin your training program, but eventually — race day will arrive. Pre-race jitters are inevitable, but the easiest way to keep calm is to take your race one step at a time. You’ll probably get a bit tired + there might be points where you don’t feel like you can keep going, but you’ll also have moments during the race when you feel on top of the world + like you’ve never run faster! Races can be an emotional roller coaster, but never doubt that you have it in you to keep going — you committed, you trained, + you WILL make it to the end.
Believe in yourself.
++ remember, no matter where you are on your running journey, it doesn’t matter how far you go — what matters is that you start + you finish. Whether you’re running a mile or a marathon, there is no better feeling than crossing that finish line!
+ Ali [ali.inchaarg], virtCHAARG girl from Philly
+ PHOTOGRAPHY // Kaitlyn Bowman [@kaitb_inchaarg], GVSU CHAARG