It’s important to build up to your goal race and here are ten reasons why.

You’re all signed up…..if UQ Twilight is your goal race- make sure you plan the lead upright.  If not, it’s the perfect first ‘practice race’ of the year. Races are like rungs on a ladder and here are ten reasons why those practice races are so important.

  1. You learn how to pace –It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of being in a race, but if you’ve been there before, you’ll be less likely to be frazzled and lose your pace.  If your practice race is accurately measured (like UQ Twilight is), you don’t have to rely on your GPS which can sometimes be a little bit out.
  2. You learn to drink at aid stations –If you’re the type of runner who can find five friends to man drink stations on your 5 am Sunday runs, then you are one of the lucky ones.  For the rest of us, it’s likely that the only practice you are going to get at running at a fold up table, whilst gasping for air, taking aim at one of the several half-filled white cups and getting most of it on your face – is if you practice it in racing first.
  3. You get the confidence that will put you in the right mindset – Your practice race will go to plan and give you the boost you need leading up to your goal race.  And if it doesn’t go to plan, you’ll have another practice race lined up to give it another go before the big day.
  4. Races are like stepping stones – They keep you motivated throughout your training and you’ve got to admit – putting on that bib and having people shout your name every once in a while is a pretty good feeling.
  5. Every Race counts – If you end up being injured or sick for your goal race later in the year, (touch wood) – you can look back at all your other races along the way with fond memories and know you did your best (and had fun) in the process.  
  6. Use races to practice how to run different distances at different intensities – Running a few shorter (but strong) races in the lead up to your goal race will give you a great indication on how you are going and allow you to predict your race pace with better accuracy.
  7. Build your resilience –It’s almost impossible to replicate the feeling you have at the start of a race.  Most of us get the butterflies or jitters. Some of us get overwhelmed when running with so many other runners that are so close!  Practice makes perfect.
  8. Practice your pre-race routine – Practice your pre-race nutrition, waiting in line for the toilets and forgetting the pins for your bib (just kidding).  But practising your day before routine including trying to sleep is extremely valuable.
  9. Learn how you recover –You can practice your post-race routine and nutrition!  Recovery is just as important as racing. Allowing your body time to bounce back is crucial.
  10. You might be using Twilight as your first race of the year or it could be your first race ever!  Either way, the sun will go down, the stars will come out and the cheers will get louder the longer you run.  And what’s better than that…..