Spring is here, and you’ve been tossing around the idea of entering some local races. This is a great way to meet like-minded folks who are out challenging themselves, and to support local organizations and clubs that put on these events. If you’ve never raced before, it’s easy to be intimated on race day, but don’t let that stop you. Most folks are super friendly, even the ones that take it more seriously than others.
There generally will be a lot of chest puffing (cycling), yoga (if your running), and tail feathers being shown (expensive bikes), but that’s the nature of the beast. Don’t let this intimidate you. If this is your first event, line up near the middle of the pack and let the “hot rods” be up front. The most important thing is to remember that you’re out doing something really good for your body and mind. Also, be polite and be sure to thank the volunteers who are hosting the event. If you’re going to eat a Gu or a bar while racing, please keep the wrapper as there is no one to come and clean up after you.
If you’ve never raced before, you should start off with a 5K. If you’re not sure how to go about training, look on the Internet, there are a bunch of free training plans out there along with guides on nutrition and recovery aids. Find a program that is going to work for you, if you’re a total newbie, be honest with yourself and find something that is going to fit your athletic ability and schedule. It can be tough finding time to train and stay motivated, especially with work, and all the day-to-day activities that encompass our lives. The key is to try and find balance and to develop a training schedule that works for you. Also keep a log of your workouts to see how you’re developing.
Here in Southern Vermont and neighboring New York state there are bunch of running and cycling events from spring to fall. The Shires of Vermont Marathon is on Sunday, May 20, and it starts in Bennington and ends at Hildene Meadows in Manchester. This is the second year of the event, and it is the only point-to-point marathon in the state. If you’re looking for a cycling challenge, the Tour of the Dragons Stage Race is May 5-6, and it takes place in Bennington and Manchester and some surrounding towns.
So get out there and start training, who knows you might surprise yourself with your results!