Preparing for a Running Event: First Steps

Running may be the simplest of all activities, but you still need to prepare properly. This quick 8 point guide will send you on the right tracks, meaning you'll be ready and raring to go in no time!

1. Let’s start with the basics… do you know WHERE and WHEN the event is?

This may seem stupid… but these details can easily be forgotten. Don’t embarrass yourself by turning up in the wrong place.

2. Check the weather (and not for an excuse!)

Yes, many people will be using this an excuse. But that’s not the attitude we like to see at Run Birmingham. Team spirit is always higher when you’ve all soldiered your way through the pouring rain in the cold together. Having checked the weather, though, you can then begin to prepare appropriately for the event you’re going to see.

3. What clothing should you wear?

Having checked the weather makes this step a whole lot easier. If it’s hot, don’t wear too much. If it’s cold, don’t wear too little. But there’s more to it than just this! You will need to adapt to your own individual situation. For example: If you’re at an early stage of a Couch to 5k programme, then you’ll maybe need an extra layer as you’ll be using a mixture of walking and jogging techniques. It’s always BETTER to have TOO MANY layers, as you can always take one off. You can’t simply magic up an extra layer!

If your religious clothing affects what you wear when exercising, that’s still fine. If you’re especially keen and have enough spare money, then you may be able to buy special material religious clothing, however this is not a necessity.

4. What footwear do you wear?

This will depend on what you have to choose from! Your choice of footwear is crucial for the avoidance of injuries. If you haven’t got a pair of specific running trainers, simply go for the shoes with the most support along the entire underneath of your foot. If you are worried about your choice, then feel free to ask any of our Run Birmingham leaders for advice. They’ll be happy to help and will ensure you are wearing the correct equipment for the next session.

5. What do you need to remember?

What kind of event are you going to? An organised 10k or charity event will likely have sent you a package pre-race, which will include your number/t shirt which you will need to take on the day. On the other hand, Run Birmingham events simply need people to bring their electronic tag (Your Wellbeing tag’s will be distributed at Couch to 5k programmes, whilst you can register for your Great Run Local wristband here).

Don’t forget a water bottle, even when it’s raining! Although rewarding, exercise can be hard work. In order to avoid becoming dehydrated, you will need to drink plenty of water. This bottle can either be left at the start/finish of the event, or carried around.

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Don’t forget your wristband for a Great Run Local!

6. What should you not bring?

You’re only coming running. You don’t need to bring your whole house with you. Dogs are welcome at certain events – just get in contact and we’ll let you know.

7. Food. 

It’s everyone’s favourite part of the day. Food! However, when and what you eat can really affect your running session! It is recommended that you eat a reasonable sized portion of food (preferably Carbohydrates like Pasta or Rice) around 2 hours before you take part in physical activity. Eating right before you start running won’t end well at all!

8. Remember why you’re there

Running in groups is a great social experience and loads of fun. So whenever you’re doubting yourself in the cold weather or the rain, or are simply feeling a bit lazy, just think how great you’ll feel when you’ve finished. You won’t regret turning up!

Now you’re ready. Get out there and #RunBrum!