I just registered to run my second marathon by myself.
There are times, though, when it just doesn’t work out in your schedule to have people come with you and join you for a destination race, or even for one that’s near where you live. Running a race by yourself can be intimidating. After all, some people ask if it’s “weird” or a bad thing to do a race on your own, and I think it’s perfectly fine!
I do think you have to prepare yourself for some things because it will be different than having support there — even if it’s just knowing that you will see a familiar face somewhere along the course (or just at the finish). So, some things to think about if you are running a race by yourself:
- Think about how you will carry your fuel —> Sometimes I will have my family hold some fuel and stuff for me to pick up along the way (it depends on the race, because if you don’t see them, it can be a disaster on your race)… so if this is something you commonly do, you need to rethink your fueling strategy and how you will manage it all on your own.
[the bottleband is a favorite of mine for this — works for any bottle so you can carry your fluids!]
- Create a mantra —> Mantras are SO important in any race, but even more so when you are doing a race by yourself. When the going gets tough, I usually tell myself “only X miles til you see family” and that helps get me through. You don’t have this luxury when you are on your own. Mantras can help a TON.
- Bring a camera —> One of the best parts of having family/friends on the course means that they will take some
stellarpictures of you. If that’s not the case and if pictures are important to you, make sure you bring a camera. I have no pictures of myself at the Brooklyn Marathon because I didn’t bring a camera. Because if you have no pictures, did it really happen? 😉
- Figure out a finish line game plan —> When you have family with you, you can easily have them bring anything that you might need right at the finish. This can be better than having to check a bag. For my race, I will need to figure out what to do with my car keys… right now, I’m thinking I’ll just carry them with me?
- Celebrate! —> Don’t skip on the celebration just because nobody traveled with you or watched your race. You still deserve a celebration, so make it happen!
Have you ever run a race by yourself? Anything to add?
Would you ever travel to a race and run it by yourself? Do you do local races by yourself? Any distance under a marathon, I fly solo… and sometimes on marathon day, too!
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