Broad Street or Bust: A Reluctant Runner’s Guide to Conquering the Iconic Race
This article was originally published on Polished for Pennies.
New runner? Not really; I’ve ran off and on for the last few years. Enthusiastic? Not so much. Most days, I feel at odds with my running shoes.
My sister, dad and me. Brimming with pride after my first BSR!
But the Broad Street Run is more than a race: it’s become a family bonding event for my sister, dad and me.
In 2010 I signed up late and was placed on a waiting list. When I got the nod in early spring I made the cut, I joined a gym and spent the next few weeks getting ready. Now I’m entering my fourth race. Like usual, I’ve let life intervene and slacked on preparing to the extent I should.
With Athletic April winding down and the Broad Street Run in less than a week, here are the five last-minute training tips I follow leading up to the race:
- Wake up early. Waking up at 5am hurts for the first couple of minutes, but an early AM gym session is totally worth it. You feel great and have the whole day to get other things done with no looming gym session after work. Mondays are hard enough, so I reserve early morning runs for mid-week.
- Workout with a partner. Preferably someone who runs more than you. My friend and I still joke about the one summer we decided to “be runners;” we ran a quarter mile, called it quits and walked to Dunkin Donuts. My sister, on the other hand, has several races and two marathons under her belt. Running with someone more experienced helps you meet your goals and keep going when you want to stop. You also get hangout time in and improve your endurance while talking and running at the same time.
- Dress the part. You don’t need to spend a lot on gear (though I recommend purchasing decent shoes—I somehow ran in regular sneaks my first BSR, but will attribute that to youth). New running shoes for an early birthday present? Check. Pink headphones? Check. Sparkly headbands? Check. Yep, I’m usually a color-overloaded mess at the gym. One money-saving bonus: I run in t-shirts my sentimental self doesn’t wear regularly but can’t bear to part with.
- Turn it up. I run best to super upbeat pop and club music, while my dad can run to classic rock, oldies and, in the wintertime, Christmas music. Find and download whatever tunes keep you moving.
- Run with purpose. Whether doing your first or fifth Broad Street Run (and, like me, cursing yourself all the way to the finish line) remind yourself you can do this and focus on how great you will feel afterward.
And if all else fails, just think of this:
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