There are many different firsts, first parkrun, first 10k, first half, full, trail race, 50k on and on… The first race you enter can be scary and exciting – achieving something we thought we could never do is such an amazing experience… If this is your first race EVER, or a big step up in your goal race, some RMA’s and RMA Coach Kate Heyward have put together a list of tips to help you with that time when the big day is getting near.

1) Nerves are good, that means you’re excited – enjoy this feeling, this is why we participate in races – channel those nerves into determination.

2) To help with your confidence take a look back at the successful runs you’ve had – take the positives from those sessions.

3) Look how far you have come – no doubt when you set this goal you never thought you would have done the training you’ve done along the way.

4) Training plans rarely go to 100% to plan, hiccups are part of life – let them go.

5) Remember this is your journey, don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s. Own your journey, your goal, your achievement.

6) Don’t change a thing now as far as fuelling and equipment – do everything the same as you have in training.
7) Familiarise yourself with the course – could run it (or parts of it), cycle or walk it, even find videos of it online.

8) Talk to the positive people who understand or who have some experience, about any concerns you may have and how to deal with them.

9) Visualise yourself running strong, relax – know that it will may be tough at times and prepare how you will handle it – you could have a song or phrase or person to think about to get you through when things get hard.

10) Be organised and you will feel in control – set up your clothes, food, charge devices, organise transport, family arrangements etc – prepare everything in advance and you will save panic on the morning of your race – make a list if you need to!
11Don’t worry if you can’t sleep the night before. You are resting even if you are not sleeping and that is ok.
12) You will never forget your first huge achievement – so make it as positive as you can – breathe in the atmosphere and never forget to smile at the start line!!
Please add your tips and suggestions in comments!!
**Thank you to the Coach Kate athletes who contributed to this list :)**