Since 2013, approximately 57 percent of race finishers in the United States have been women, according to research by Running USA that was recently published in The New York Times. More than 10 million women run races in the U.S. and female race participation has increased by more than 25 percent since 1990, the report showed.
The benefits of running are robust, regardless of your gender. Research shows running helps you get a handle on your weight, increases your mood and even reduces risk for disease. And while any running routine is beneficial, there’s an added joy that comes with completing a race. It’s a tangible representation of all your hard work.
Looking for inspiration to complete a 5k or half marathon of your own? We asked women to share their race tips via Facebook and email. Check out their wisdom below:
1. Get to know what works throughout training.
This includes what foods fuel you and how much water keeps you going.
“Practice in-race nutrition during training. Don’t wait until race day. Eat far enough in advance on race day so that you can go to the bathroom beforehand.” ―Karen Park
2. Keep up a routine.
Love a specific pair of jogging pants or have a favorite sports bra? Stick with it for your race.
“Nothing new in or on your body the day before race and the day of race.” ―Holly Collins Wallace
3. Listen to your body.
Maybe you planned to shave a minute off your mile, but that might change on race day.
“Have a game plan. Be willing to chuck the game plan. Trust your training, trust yourself.” ―Amy Schaumburg
4. Set a goal and stick to it.
Whether it is a 5k or a full marathon, to reach any taxing fitness goal will take serious commitment.
“The best moment is, of course, the satisfaction to have made a success of my challenge.” ―Claire Charles
5. Savor the accomplishment.
Running is hard. Really hard. Enjoy the post-race glory that you’ve earned.
“The best part is always crossing the finish line and the sense of completion of the goal.” ―Holly Collins Wallace
Who run the world? Girls.