First Timer Tips

Some tried and true tips from your Hospital Hill Run Friends!

  1. Buy yourself some actual running shoes from an actual running store because running in junk sneakers will destroy your feet and your legs.
  2. The cutest running shoes may not be the best running shoes.  Get fitted for the right shoes.
  3. Walk before you run!   Don’t forget a proper warm up and cool down when training.
  4. Avoid drastic increases in distances during training.
  5. Don’t increase your distance by more than 10 percent each week.
  6. Find a like-minded friend to run with.  Some of the greatest friendships have been formed during training runs.
  7. Register early because Hospital Hill Run does fill up fast!
  8. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. The heat and humidity take a toll on you!
  9. Consider it one of the hardest races you will do. A good showing at Hospital Hill Run earns you bragging rights!
  10. If participating in the half marathon, hold back until you get to Broadway!
  11. Start slow. Save your energy for later in the race. And, don’t be afraid to use the pacers.
  12. No matter how much you have trained, find your pacers and stick with them!
  13. Drive the course before race day and if possible, run the course before race day.
  14. Practice your morning breakfast prior to race day.
  15. Train on hills, they are not so scary if you train on them.
  16. There’s a TON of runners so show up early and take it all in.
  17. Cotton socks will only lead to blisters; invest in socks designed for running.
  18. Ladies, do not skimp on a bra. Even if it costs more than your shoes it’s still a bargain.
  19. Remember to say “Thank You!” to race volunteers (e.g. when you get that cup of water at the aid station) and family and friends who support you.
  20. Don’t carry loose change. It will annoy those who are running with you.
  21. Remember that you will have plateaus in your progress and tough days along the way.
  22. It gets easier.
  23. Be prepared to remove the words “can’t” and “never” from your vocabulary.
  24. Don’t expect every run to be better than the last one; some of them will hurt.
  25. Even a bad run is better then no run at all.
  26. Practice with the sports drink that will be served on course.
  27. Hydrate. Make it a habit to drink water throughout the day.
  28. If you are training for an event that will take over an hour, practice taking in energy gels or other energy food.
  29. Avoid eating spicy foods before running and the night before your long runs.
  30. To aid recovery the most crucial time to eat and drink is in the hour immediately after you run.
  31. Use Vaseline or BodyGlide wherever things rub. They will help prevent blisters and chafing (guys don’t forget the nipples).
  32. Guys: Band-Aids before the long runs. Your nipples will thank you in the shower afterwards.
  33. Log your mileage for your legs and your Shoes. Too much on either will cause you injury.
  34. Do not run two hard days back-to-back.
  35. When your schedule tells you to cut back, follow it.  Your body needs the cut back week for recovery.
  36. Frozen peas make a great ice pack for aches and pains. A thin t-towel wrapped around them makes the cold more comfortable.
  37. Race day is not the day to try new shoes, eat new foods, or wear brand new clothing.
  38. If you conserve your energy during the first half of a race, you can finish strong.
  39. When you pick up drinking cups at aid stations, squeeze gently so it folds slightly and is easier to drink from it while you are moving.
  40. A plastic garbage bag on race day is a very fashionable cheap & disposable raincoat.
  41. Always carry I.D. (wear your race bib) because you just never know.
  42. If you are breathing too hard slow down or walk a bit until you feel comfortable again.
  43. Set realistic short term and long term goals.
  44. Soreness one to two days after a run is normal (delayed onset muscle soreness).
  45. No amount of money spent on gadget training programs or funny food can substitute for minutes, hours, days and weeks on the road.
  46. There’s no shame in walking.
  47. Speed work doesn’t have to be scientific. Try racing to one light post and then jogging to the next.
  48. Do abdominal breathing to get rid of side cramps or “stitches.”
  49. Build rest into your schedule. Rest is just as important of an element as exercise in your fitness plan.
  50. Forgive yourself. Over-ambitious goals usually lead to frustration and giving up on your fitness plan. If you miss a goal or milestone let it go and focus on the next opportunity to get it.
  51. Mix-up your training plan.  Make sure your training plan is not too heavily focused on one thing. No matter what level of runner you are your training plan should include four essential elements: endurance speed rest cross-training.
  52. Dress as if it is 10 degrees warmer than the temperature on the thermometer (for winter running).
  53. Wear sunscreen and a hat when the sun is beating down—year round.
  54. Run early in the morning or later in evening to avoid mid-day heat.
  55. On race day get to the starting area early, you never want to be in a rush.
  56. Use the port-a-potty even if you think you don’t need it.
  57. After you have completed your first Hospital Hill Run wear your medal for all to see!