FIRST TIMERS’ GUIDE TO RUNNING
A big welcome to all newcomers to the wonderful sport of running. We hope you enjoy your first race, and that you want to continue experiencing the satisfaction and exhilaration for many years to come.
It can all seem a little overwhelming to begin with, there is new kit to wear, shoes to choose, and funny things called gels to consume. Let us help guide you so you have just what you need for a successful first race!
So what gear do you need to compete in a CSC Run by the Bay event?
The most important consideration for a running event, and particularly in the climate of Singapore, is comfort and moisture wicking ability. Running gear is designed to be light and breathable, which is exactly what you want.
- Running shoes (purchase a good pair of running shoes designed for your arch and stride type. If you’re not sure which type of shoe you need, visit a local running specialty store to get fitted properly)
- Running shorts and t-shirt or singlet (or try our event tee!)
- Socks – Good socks are as important as good shoes. Look for socks that are seam-free, and ones that manage moisture so you won’t get blisters.
- Running Cap
- Sunglasses (great for training – probably not needed on race day!)
You can start your aerobic base building by doing a run/walk plan, like the successful Couch to 5K plan. A good first week of running is three sessions of 20 to 30 minutes total of jogging/running/walking. Be sure to space your training days throughout the week to give yourself a chance to recover and rest.
Don’t worry about how fast you are running. Speed will come later once your aerobic base has improved. Just increase the duration of your runs gradually. It is important that your first runs should be completed at an effort and pace that is easy and comfortable. Most beginners don’t know what an easy or comfortable pace should be so they tend to push too hard. A comfortable pace is one you feel confident you can sustain for the duration of your run. It is better to run too slow and finish feeling like you could have gone longer or faster, rather than finishing exhausted. A simple way to determine your pace and effort is to listen to your breathing. If you aren’t gasping for air and you can talk while you’re running, then your pace is just right.
Don’t be afraid to walk. Walking breaks the run into smaller, more doable pieces. These breaks will allow you to run longer and faster. Walking breaks work best if you walk for one to five minutes.
When you finish your first run, don’t stop suddenly. Instead, walk for another five minutes to cool down gradually.
You know you can run a 5K. Maybe you’ve already finished one.
If you’ve covered at least 4kms, 3 to 4 days a week, for 2 months, the answer is: ohh yeah! The 12.8K is where endurance fun begins. It propels most new runners into uncharted, but highly rewarding, territory: around 60 minutes of running. Hitting that hour mark will push your cardiovascular fitness skyward and increase leg strength (not to mention give you an excuse for a victory dance). Plus, the added endurance can also boost your 5K time and lead you to longer races like the half and full marathon.
Training for a 12.8km doesn’t have to take over your life. It allows you to set goals and train hard, but also enjoy the scenery and still have time to see friends.
- Include longer slow runs – start with 40 minutes and start building by 5 minutes each week until you reach 80 minutes. Then you know that you will make the distance on race day. Run these sessions at conversation pace, it should be quite leisurely.
- Shorter sharper sessions – combine speed work and strength endurance (running at a consistent pace) that allow you to concentrate on refining your running technique so it is as efficient as possible. Try 1-4 minutes repetitions at 80% effort with lots of recovery so you can get your heart rate back down.
- Run uphill – it helps maintain posture and it works against gravity, so it builds strength and power. Most people do it too quickly, so don’t fall into the trap of running up too fast and walking back down. Run up a hill in control, and then ‘fall forward’ on the way back down. Don’t feel tempted to sprint, you risk injuring your calf muscles.
TRAIN WITH US!
If you would like some guidance, MetaSport have weekly coached sessions. These are group sessions that are lots of fun, with an experienced coach to give you tips and feedback. Check out our MetaSport training page for more information!
RACE DAY PREPARATIONS
Here’s what you can do to make sure you’re in tip top shape on race day:
- Taper – reduce your training in the days leading up to the race. Cut total training distance by 50-60 percent during race week, and include some short sharp workouts to freshen you up.
- Recce the route – walk or cycle the course prior to the event. This will give you information on hazards such as sharp bends, potholes or high kerbs. Or examine the course map!
- Check your kit – don’t try anything new on race day – stick with what you like from training. Take note if your clothing or shoes rub in certain areas, and use body glide or bandaids to protect.
- Tactics – tactics are up to you, depending on your level of fitness. Go relatively easy for the first half of the race to avoid burning out, and aim to run a negative split. This is running the race faster as the race progresses, and ultimately means your second half should be faster than your first!
- Hydrate – drink two litres of water the day before the race, and at least 500ml before the race on the event morning.
- Relax – don’t be scared! Pre-race nerves are perfectly normal, and won’t stop you performing at your best. Harness the support of the crowd and volunteers during the race, they will give you a boost when you need it most!
RACE DAY CHECKLIST
- Read the athlete e-Brief that will hit your inbox in the days preceding the race to ensure you are aware of all race information
- Arrive at the venue at least one hour prior to your wave start time to avoid any stress
- Ensure your number bib is pinned to the front of your jersey
- Place your bag in the bag deposit
- Enjoy one of our warm-up sessions to loosen your muscles and get your heart moving
- Head to the start line!
- Wait for your wave start to be called
- Listen for the starters horn
- Follow the direction signs and marshals instructions as you run along the course
- Pace yourself and remember to drink at aid stations!
- Smile as you cross the line!
- Volunteers will present you with your medal
- Walk to the finish line drink station to get a refreshing cold drink!
- Relax in the festival area and savour the feeling of accomplishment!