When you start running races, there is a lot to learn in terms of course etiquette and safety. You train hard to run the race, and you want to ensure that you get to the end safely. Learning just a few basics can help you hit that finish line in fine fashion. Here’s some advice presented by Lean Body Training
Be courteous to other runners.
Many races have headphone usage guidelines, oftentimes discouraging their use entirely. If you do use headphones, keep the volume low enough to hear what is happening around you. It may help to only wear one earbud, tucking the other one away safely.
If you race with friends, Sports Backers recommends running no more than two people side-by-side so others can pass you safely. Pass other racers on the left, and call out to let someone know you’re about to go by them. If you need to slow down or stop, head to the right-hand side of the course so nobody gets tripped up.
It’s also important to have the right mindset going into the race as well. Make sure your home stays positive and free of negative energy. You can do this by ensuring that everything stays neat, tidy, and upbeat leading up to the race. Having a great mindset will certainly help.
Pay attention to avoid trips and falls
Women’s Running points out that aid stations have a tendency to bottleneck and this is a prime area for trips and falls. If you aren’t grabbing water, stay in the middle away from the tables. If you are taking a cup and want to slow down or stop, get past the station first and then move to the side. Stay alert as you run, watching for other runners, vehicles, and various obstacles that could trip you up. It’s also important to keep moving as you cross the finish line, as other runners will be right behind you. Keep moving forward until there is room to disperse.
Consider how the weather will impact your run
The weather can also impact race safety. If race day is going to be sunny and hot, up to your hydration, apply sunscreen, and wear a visor for protection. If you start to feel nauseated, dizzy, stop sweating, or get the chills, you need to get out of the sun. Take in some fluids and get medical attention if your symptoms continue.
In case of rain, stay dry as long as possible before the race starts. Wear form-fitting, non-cotton clothing that won’t ride up and chafe and stay connected to the event’s online resources to stay abreast of any weather-related race alerts.
Accept medical help if needed
No runner wants to stop the race due to a medical issue, but sometimes it’s necessary. Check out the event’s set-up before the run so you know where medical tents are. In addition, the Columbus Marathon Blog details that it is important to complete the medical information section on the back of your bib number in case medical personnel need to help you.
If you need a band-aid or other minor help, you can check-in at a fluid station. However, if something more serious develops, you need to know your limits and accept help. If you have heatstroke or an ankle injury, for example, continuing to run can lead to serious consequences.
Tackle longer races elsewhere to stay challenged
Some runners are content to stick with short, local races, while others feel drawn to upping the ante. If you are tempted to do a marathon or triathlon, consider pushing outside your comfort zone by travelling to train and compete. Registering for an event in another part of the country or even abroad can make for a great adventure. If you’re a business owner, all you need to do is implement a vacation strategy so that you can ensure your business can run smoothly while you’re competing. If you’re an employee, use some of your paid vacation time to travel to a race in a beautiful location.
Nothing ruins a race day like an injury or safety issue. Following basic racecourse etiquette can prevent trips and falls and prepare for the weather helps keep you safe. If a medical issue arises, don’t be afraid to ask for assistance, and once you cross the finish line start planning what kind of race to tackle next.
Written by: Justin Bennett
[Image via Pixabay]