I've never run more than 6 miles in my life. But somehow I concluded that it would be a good idea to run the New York City half-marathon this August. I really want to kick my exercise routine up a notch with a big goal to work towards, so I officially signed up this weekend. I'm ready to start preparing for the big day, so I've asked the National Women's Health Resource Center executive director, Elizabeth Battaglino Cahill, who just finished her first half marathon on April 26th, for some helpful tips.
Beth's Race Day Tips:
1. Hydrate: Make sure to drink plenty of fluids the day before your race. Drink sports drinks throughout the day and water with your meals. Your urine should be a light straw color. The day of the race is not the day to hydrate.
2. Eat Smart: Do not try any new food or power boosting supplements or bars the day before and or the day of race. Load up on carbs the night before for race-day energy.
3. Wear a Hat: I am not a big hat person, but it works well for keeping the direct sun off your face.
4. Wear Sunscreen: Don't forget sun protection, but not around your eyes! As you sweat it can run into your eyes and be very painful.
5. Dress Smart: The longer distance you run, the higher your chance of skin chaffing, so think through and try out what you plan to wear so that you are most comfortable.
6. Get Your Music Ready: Make fun upbeat playlists to give you an extra boost on race day, and make sure everything is in working order that day so you don't end up tuneless like I was after accidentally leaving my iPod on all night.
7. Travel Light: One of the items in our gift bags was an arm band that had a zipper on it. Loved that I could put my hotel key and a few dollars in it, and it didn't bother me while I ran.
8. Plan Ahead to Meet Family and Friends: If you have family and friends cheering for you at the race, write down their cell numbers or set a meeting spot. If the race is as popular as the MORE one with 10,000 participants, finding your peeps after can be difficult. You won't have your cell phone, but some nice person near the finishing line will and it will be helpful to have a number or two on hand to call if you don't have them memorized.
9. Run With Friends: Get a few friends together to run the race. While our group didn't train together (impossible to coordinate schedules), it was great to meet up the night before, share our experiences with training and take on and finish this challenge together.
10. Get New Running Gear: Invest in quality running shoes and clothes. They have such cute new outfits--I loved my running skirt.