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The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

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Five expert articles to get you in top shape for your first race

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Photo by Robin McConnell

Starting a new sport is daunting, and competing can be even more nerve-wracking. At my first middle-school cross country race, I wore a baggy uniform, a pair of old racing spikes that were slightly too big and a pair of white cotton socks from Wal-Mart. I was so nervous I hadn’t been able to eat all day. I finished the race exhausted and blistered, but hungry for more.

Since then, I’ve learned a lot about running and racing. But it would have been nice to have some kind of primer back then to ease my troubled mind–and tell me what kind of socks to wear. Here are five articles to help you get going, prepare for races and recover right.

Bonus: Want to find a trail club near you to run with? Check out our new Trail Club Finder to get started!

What about you? Is there anything you wish someone had told you before your first trail race?