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Beginner's Guide on How to Train For a 12K Race

A Beginner's Guide to Training For a First Race

After years of participating in the craziness from the sidelines, I recently signed up for San Francisco's most infamous (and most naked) race: the ING Bay to Breakers 12K. The 7.5-mile race crosses the entire width of San Francisco and draws thousands of participants, from serious runners to those who are decidedly not, and turns the whole city into race fans for a day.

I love that my first race will be for the 100th anniversary of one of my favorite San Francisco "holidays." And since I haven't been much of a runner lately, registering now is good motivation for me to start a dedicated routine that'll prepare me for the May race.

Before I can don a wild outfit and brave the city's hilly landscape, I need to get serious. Read on to see how I'll start training for my big day.

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  • Have a plan. I'll be following FitSugar's 10K training plan and modify as necessary in order to be ready for the race, which is about an extra mile longer than a 10K.
  • Choose my cross-training. Now that I have a plan, now's the time to choose how I'll mix up my fitness routine to strengthen my body and keep myself motivated. I'm thinking a mix of more yoga, weekend hikes, and some forays into rock climbing may be in order!
  • Get the best gear. Proper-fitting running shoes is a must, so I'll be checking out a store that will evaluate my gait and feet to find the perfect shoe for me and will also be investing in some moisture-wicking running leggings when things start to get serious.
  • Practice good form. It's important to be highly aware of your running form. Keeping my head and shoulders back, looking at the ground ahead of me, and maintaining proper feet alignment will all help me minimize the risk of injury.

Any more advice from seasoned race-runners?

Source: Flickr User grandcamel

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