Published in Live Better Magazine
Especially during COVID times of gym closures and fewer fitness options, a lot of us have turned to the ultimate accessible form of exercise: running. It’s free, it’s right outside your door, and you can already do it… though perhaps not as well as you’d like.
You tied up your laces, you got out there in the cold morning air, and you discovered that running was actually pretty good. Now, you want to try your hand at a race. But how do you take the leap from casually jogging a few laps of the block, to preparing for a running event?
Competing in a race is fantastic: the thrill of being amongst a big group of other runners, the fun of running somewhere you normally wouldn’t be able to, the advantage of being timed in a race environment, and the high of crossing that finish line. But there are a few steps before you can get there.
The first is deciding what race you’d like to do. There’s plenty on offer, from high-profile capital city marathons, to volunteer-run events in your local neighbourhood. Brian Delaney, Endurance Coach at the Coburg Harriers Athletics Club, notes that it is ideal to pick an event to target so you have a goal to work towards. ‘It is important to plan ahead and be realistic about the distance you choose,’ he says. ‘If you are only running a few kilometres occasionally, don’t enter a marathon in three months time.’