Hi Runners World people

Tomorrows my first ever race at 10k,  I've never run a race in my life.  I am 45 year old women and I have been getting fit in the gym since January primarily to lose weight on the treadmill/crosstainer and weights (not heavy) and then I started jog/walking outside and loved it.  However now I'm starting to worry and have doubts about whether it was such a good idea to have entered this race.  I have run 10k 5 times outside on hilly terrain and twice on the treadmill, my best time on my watch is 1.29 outside.  I know its not very fast. There isn't a cut off point in this race but before today I looked at the race as a challenge as I enjoy my jog/walking but since this morning I am petrified that I won't be able to complete it or look like a complete muppet.

 Have other first time race runners been this worried about what the race would hold? 

Your answers would be very reassuring



  • Hi Twinkle,

    I'm 44 and started running 2 years ago.............and I still worry each race that I will come last and more bizarrely that when the guns goes I'll find I've totally lost the ability to run image.

    I can guarantee that you will NOT look like a complete muppet ! You should give yourself a huge pat on the back that you're taking part.  It's completely normal to get really nervous before a race and the adrenalin usually makes you go a bit faster than you do in training.

    You probably won't come last, but if you're really worried can you access last year's times on the event's website ?  I was worried about coming last in a half marathon I did a couple of weeks ago. In the end I came 3rd from last..........but the last person usually gets as big a cheer as the person who comes first (although I'm too slow to have ever seen the first person cross the line image).

    Which 10k are you doing? 

    You'll be fine and hopefully really enjoy the race.

    Good luck and let us know how you get on image

  • Thanks for your reply Sweet pea tomorrow I'm doing the Run in the Wild 10k at Cricket St Thomas I'm not to worried about coming last just failing to get round.  Thanks for reassuring me that I won't look like a muffet,  how do you get your legs working when the guns go off, thats one of my worries that the race will start and I will be frozen to the spot in fear. 


  • Twinkle Star

    You will love it and you probably won't come last-doesn't matter if you are last though as you'll get a great cheer and someone has to be last.I've been towards the back in a few races and why should it matter.However taking part is what matters and theres an awful lot of people out there who would love to have the courage/get up and go/ability to do what you're going to do.So you are already a winnerimage

    Have a great time and let us know how you doimage

    Just seen your post above.Good idea before the race to do some gentle jogs,not far but just to loosen up a bit and so that your legs know what to do when the gun goes.Bet you'll soon be signing up for the next oneimage
  • Mr KMr K ✭✭✭


    Go at your own pace especially at the start - so easy to get carried away in the wave of runners around you. If you feel you are too fast then slow down. Most races are blown in the 1st few Km.

    Good luck.

  • Twinkle, the other thing to say is that I've participated in many different sports over the years and runners are by far the friendliest bunch I've come across.

    Everyone remembers how hard it was starting out and everyone applauds everyone else, no matter what level they are at. It's one of the reasons I enjoy doing races. image

  • mathschickmathschick ✭✭✭

    I am 43 and a few years ago did my first race - a half marathon, I was slow but was so happy to finish, I did do some walking but so did other people. I was so pleased to see that people were still around the finish line when I got there, and as clearly remember the announcer calling out my name (obviously he had looked up my race number to find my name) and cheering me on - it felt great.

    I didn't keep the running up as I had a problem with my foot, but have come back to it, although I don't train particularly hard, and recently did a 10K, I thought I would be 1 hour 30 mins, but actually finished in 1 hour 19 mins and was delighted.

    No one else cares how slow/fast you are, and the marshals always cheer you on and encourage you.  

    Hope you have a great day. Just remember, that just by taking part you are doing something that a lot of people are unable to do, no matter how slow you go.

  • Regardless of whether you finish or not, 1 way to look at it is that at least you have the bottle to register for it.  Walk, jog or run, stay comfortable and enjoy the surroundings.  In all likely-hood your going to have other people around you, and remember just to have a bit of fun, and with any luck you'll enjoy it and sign up for more.

  • To all you lovely supportive RW forum members thank you so much for you messages of advice and support, it is really nice to know that I am not alone with my fears, and that it is all part of a new experience and challenge for me


  • tricialitttricialitt ✭✭✭

    Do you know what the results were like last year?- work out roughly where you would be in the pack, and start at that level in the crowd- eg, if you would have been 3/4 the way down the field, start in the last 1/4 of the bunch- there's no harm in chatting to folks around you at the start, telling them it's your first race, and trying to figure out if any of them are running at your pace- it's much easier to run with a group, even if you need to drop back or go on ahead of them later-try not to go out too fast-you want to have enough left to make it to the finish.

    Oh, and be warned- you'll need to pee before the start- get there in plenty time to queue for the loos! go once, then ignore the fact you think you need to go again- it's nerves!

  • Hi Twinkle

    Really hope you have a great time tomorrow and thoroughly enjoy your race. My experience has been the same as the others above - runners are such a wonderfully friendly bunch and always supportive of everyone no matter their time. You have done the training, have run the distance and the race adrenaline of tomorrow will also help get you round.

    We look forward to hearing your race report at the end. image

    All the best


  • Tricialitt looking at last years results I will be right near the back so thanks for the tip,  Also I think your idea of talking to the back runners to see if any of them walk/jog/crawl the race in 1.30 is a good, I haven't run with other people except for the dog and he's faster than me, so that might make it more fun to run round with another person.  Chillibean I will post a race report on here as I read other forum members race reports and they wrote that it is doable for a novice. I really am a newbie to this running bug and the course is very hilly so my own expectations are to try and succeed in getting to the finish, admire the views and have a bit of fun


  • Twinkle - As everyone has said  - just go along and give it your best.  Start off at your own pace - as a back of field slowbee I have sometimes overtaken faster starters during the last stages of the race.  Otherwise no shame in coming in last or even dnfing if you've given it your best shot -'tis better to have raced and lost than never raced at all' or summat like that.  

    Best wishes image

  • Hi RW people after suffering a last minue panic yesterday and your words of wisdom I decided to give it a go, the Run in the wild chard run, is hills hills and more hills,mud streams and rivers.  The run is well marshalled with sign posts and lots of support.  After 1k I was joined by a Sweeper uper and I walked,jogged the course with him. He gave me some good tips eg zig zagging up very very steep hills.

    I did come last to a round of clapping and although the results haven't been posted my watch said 1hour 50mins.  I am so pleased I completed it, it was very challenging but the support and encouragement I received from the marshalls at every 1k directing you and giving you words of encouragement made it really worth while for me.   I got a medal at the end which gave me a big lift. Also the rain held off.  I am now sat in front of the telly with my feet in a bowl of salted water as I have a huge blister on my right heel.  I've had it for about a week, but the race finished it off

    Thank you all very much


  • Well done on finishing! image I like my bling too - a good shiny medal somehow makes a lot of pain most worthwhile

    And now you've got a PB to beat next time out...

  • Twinkle imageimageimage

    That's ace image You should feel very, very proud!  And another image for the shiny medal (I love 'em).

    Like Helen Liz says, you've now got a time to beat for your next one....and just think how much time you can knock off if you go for a nice flat one next time image...sounds like you picked a hell of a course for your first one image

    Have you got another one in mind yet?

  • Twinkle Star

    Well done you! Sounds like a tough one for your first,i try and steer away from hillsimage

    Feel proud of your achievment,wear your medal and have a look for another race,maybe a flatter oneimageto beat your time

    well done

  • mathschickmathschick ✭✭✭
    well done, sounds far more challenging than anything I would dare sign up for!
  • tricialitttricialitt ✭✭✭

    Well done!!!!

     Sounds like a great day.

  • Well done Twinkle. I hope you've got some nice treats for this evening - you deserve it.

    Don't know where you are but the Castle Combe 10K series are really nice - 3 times round the motor racing circuit which is pretty flat, and really supportive people how ever fast you run ( I'm not fast, but just enjoy it).

    Hope the blister heals quickly

  • Congratulations on your first 10k! and well done on your time, hopefully your satisfied with it?

    So, your saying you've "had enougth for a week!", does that mean your going to go back for more next year?

  • Richard

    I was so chuffed that I got round the course, 1.50 was probably more realistic having not done the course and yes I will be back next year and probably a little bit quicker, I'm now going to do a structured 10k programme.  Getting fit  in the gym  to lose weight and jogging/walking/crawling10k round the fields with dog is nothing like what I experienced yesterday, But I really enjoyed the scenery and the people could  not have been more supportive.  I do ache a lot today and the blisters are giving a bit of grief  on the outside but inside i am really chuffed I gave it a go.  And it is a blessing I found this sight for additional support


  • Well done Twinkle - first one out of the way ! That sounds like a tough course for a first race as well, so that makes it an even better achievement in my eyes. I am not a fan of hills, and tend to go for flatter races where possible.

    You now have a benchmark time - book a 10k on a flatter route for a couple of months time and I guarantee that you will see a much improved time, better than your training run with the dog. You have done the hardest part, getting out there and taking on a demanding course. Well done !

  • Congratulations, Twinkle. It sounds like you showed true grit and determination. What you've done is a massive achievement that will hopefully stay with you for a long time.

    If you want to progress to a faster time, you've now got a benchmark to go by and you can plug that in to a RW smart coach training programme to give you suitable paces to run by.

    Stick with it and you'll gradually feel stronger and fitter on your runs and will gain confidence. Also, if you keep entering races like a parkrun 5k once every month or so, you'll get a good gauge of your progress! They're fun and every week.

    Well done again, an inspiration to us all!

  • image Fantastic Twinkle! Well done. All the best for the next one!
  • Hi Runners World

    The results from the race have been published and I had a really good surprise I thought i'd finished in about 1.50 but my new official pb is 1.43.41.   I have been well and truly bitten by the running bug and  part of the 10k programme recommends Pilates so I am off to my first class tonight which should help with my aching body.

    once again thank you to everybody who has taken the time to post to me my heartfelt thanks  to all of you


  • Twinkle, well done and thanks for giving me just what I need!!!

    First time on this site and only been running a couple of months. Threw caution to the wind the other week and registered for my first 10k, on account of the fact that I am 40 this year and have also just stopped a 20 year smoking habit.

    I've been suffering from a sudden panic about being last, being laughed at, or worst of all not finishing / even starting!! You have spurred me on a bit now - and I've got a while to train, the "big day" is not til October...fingers crossed - gulp!image

  • Oddmile

    Good luck with your training I'm now following a 10k running programme its the one thats on the home page on this web site but I saw it in the magazine.  I've managed to lose the weight and walk/jog the 10k, but I haven't maged to quick the smoking.  How did you manage it (Hope this is not off topic)  was it really really hard.  If you are able to conquer giving up smoking then you will finish the 10k if thats your goal.  The support I  have received from RW members and the people at the race has been brilliant.  Perhaps whichever running club is putting on the event might have a sweeper upper (club runner who makes sure nobody gets left behind I put it in brackets as it was a new expression I learnt on Sunday and didn't know what it meant when he said it) if like me you are really slow.  I got some really good tips from this runner and was really grateful for his company and encouragement.

    There are so many knowledgeable people on here that will answer any worries you have.  To be perfectly honest if I hadn't of posted or got replies from other people I would have probably gibbed out.  Thank goodness for this forum, 

    Good luck to you


  • Twinkle,

    Niquitin "Minis" were (are!) my key to success with stopping smoking - I tried patches before (gave me a rash), tried chewing gum (made my mouth itch)... The mint flavoured minis are great because they are only the size of a Smint and as they dissolve on your tongue (over about 10 mins) you can inhale deeply and get a rush of minty fresh air instead of lung-clogging tar. Because they have a low dose of nicotine in them, it 's enough to just take the edge off the craving, giving you the chance to distract yourself. I have been doing other things, like imagining myself running every time I want a cigarette and thinking of every cigarette as an extra 100m that I will be able to cover without coughing, if I manage to resist. During previous attempts at stopping smoking, if I have given in to temptation (husband is still smoking plenty so it's tough sometimes!) it's resulted in me totally caving in and deciding that I might as well carry on smoking. This time, however, I have forgiven myself for the odd relapse in the early weeks and have just started the next day as a "non smoker". The best feeling is when you get to where I am now - not being able to remember how many weeks it is since I stopped, without getting a calendar out...image

    Thanks for the tip about the training programme, I've found it now and am going to give it a try. The sweeper upper sounds like an excellent plan - I do hope there's one at my event! I have a feeling I will need to be rounded up and coaxed past the finish, although now I have discovered this site I have a feeling I will have "virtual" support anyway!

    Well done on the weight loss - would be interested to know your tips about that one as I still have plenty of excess pounds despite all the extra exercise I have been doing lately!

    Best wishes and thanks again


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