Princess Training: The First Steps

As promised with my post back in May around the time of registration, I am going to walk you through the craziness you signed up for!

Hopefully in the two months since we last talked, you have done your homework – or glanced over the assignment!

In 2013, it was around this time that I started running. My friend had already put the idea in my head about: Disney, princess, running. I was still deciding over the distance I would sign up for (back in 2013, Princess 2014 opened in July and did not sell out until early August).

Basic gear you should already have: a fitted pair of running shoes (yes I know dropping $100+ is hard) and a good sports bra or two (seriously, back pain is no fun whether you are an A or DD).

Other gear you may want to consider: a Road ID, sunglasses (check out Goodr), and headphones (I really like AfterShokz).

Last girlie thing: please please take care of your skin! Have a good face scrub/moisturizer ready for post run! Find a good sunscreen that makes your face happy while you are out there sweating – my go to right now is Clinique’s Hydro-Rush.

Ok…now…

If this is your first race ever (like it was for me) or you are increasing your distance goals, I recommend starting now.

Way back when, I was starting mid-July my Couch to 5k program. Yes, it really sucks starting in the heat of the summer but you have to start sometime! Running in the morning or evening are your best bet. Find a time that works with you and stick with it! Most Couch to 5k programs seem to have you run 3 days. Life happens so be flexible but do try to get those 3 runs in each week!

If you start training now, look for a local 5k to complete in September.

Princess Training starts in October. By starting now, you get to figure out what works and what doesn’t – for you. Remember everything on my blog is my suggestions and what has or hasn’t worked for me.

Also, by starting now, you are starting your base skills and will only build on them as you go through the process. You may even feel confident enough to take on a 10k before the November 14th Proof of Time deadline! How awesome would that be!

Go ahead, get out there! Those baby steps in the running world aren’t going to take themselves! You totally got this!

If I can pull myself back up from my comfy cloud of laziness, you can totally take on your first 5k and crush it!

Happy running!

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You just signed up for…WHAT?!

Disney Princess Half Marathon registration opened this week to the general public and as always, thousands of princess in training registered (I’m sure thousands of returning princesses are now dusting off and polishing that tiara — I know I am!).

As a returning princess and a princess who is beginning the training journey herself, I thought it would the “charming” thing for me to do and share of the insight I have picked up over the years.

Congratulations! You are registered for the most royal of all race weekends! Whether it’s your first 5k, 10k, half marathon or challenge – you will be awesome! If you are moving up a distance, you got it!

The mix of excitement, doubt, panic, and overwhelming now what are completely normal. Let me point you in the right direction to get you settled…

1. Do your homework:

Ok – you went to the race page long enough to click register but have you actually read all the information available on the runDisney Princess Weekend page? If not, you really should. While not all the information is available, there’s a lot of info you will need – now, as you plan, and closer to the event.

Tip: do not rely on Facebook groups or the people in those groups to relay the correct information to you. The website literally has everything on there that you could possibly need to know and more about the weekend.

Other sources you can use to prepare for the weekend are The Runner’s Guide to Walt Disney World (available on Amazon – so you can get a print or digital version) and blogs. From personal experience, both the Guide and reading blog reviews were how I researched my first Princess in 2014. With the blogs, I was getting good, bad and not so great moments shared with me so I could prepare for anything. The Guide provided a lot of insight into things I wouldn’t have even thought about.

2. Gear up:

If you are like me and this will be your first big race, please get proper gear! I knew before I started training in July 2013 that I needed to go to the “running store” and get properly fitted for running shoes. Do this – you will thank me later. Spending money now on the correct shoe for you will be a lot cheaper than spending money later on doctor bills because you picked a “cute” pair of shoes. Get fitted – then you can pick colors based on what your shoe comes in.

Another very important piece of gear to have fitted is a sports bra. I can remember after 2 months of training, I did my first 5k. The next morning I woke up with back pain and couldn’t figure out why. I was talking to my mom and she suggested maybe I didn’t have the best sports bra on the night before. It didn’t even dawn on me until I was hurting! Most running stores have seen the uptick in female runners. They will offer bra fittings so you can get the right kind of support (the twins and your back will thank you!).

As you progress through training, there will be other gear you may want to look into – watches, fuel, hydration packs, all kinds of clothes (see how quickly you dislike cotton), personal packs (like a Spibelt), glasses (check out Goodr), etc.

But right now, before you even think of taking a step, go get your shoes and a good sports bra.

3. Training:

Do you want to run, walk or do a combination? Only you know what your body will respond to.

When I started training in 2013, I knew I needed to run/walk. I didn’t think I could run. I quickly stopped training with intervals and tried to run as far as I could and then walk. Once walking, I couldn’t convince myself to run again. Fast forward to now – I am starting to build back up. This time around, I am making myself stick with intervals. Not only have I seen an improvement in my time (which are not speedy), I am seeing a consistent and steady pace that I am comfortable with. A comfortable pace is one where you can have a conversation and not feel like you are dying.

Also, look into training plans. There are so many out there. runDisney recommends the Galloway method – run/walk/run. You may want to start by doing a Couch to 5k program or train for a race through your local running club.

Decide how you want to train. This is your training plan for your race. No matter the distance – you got this!

4. Racecation:

You will be at Disney after all! Are you traveling alone? Going with a friend or family? Think about if you want to spend the weekend or week. You don’t have to book now but these are things you want to think about.

Tip: plan to arrive one day prior to your first race at least. You will need to attend expo to pick up your bib and race shirt.

5. Other sources

Join social media groups for a support network. It’s good to join groups to bounce ideas off of and share in the excitement. As stated before, do not rely on them for correct race information. While what is posted may be correct, it’s a good rule of thumb to use your race website for all correct race information. However, you may see the link to print your waiver in a group sooner than you would on the race page (we’ll get to that later).

Two books I read when I started training (and ones I plan to re-read now that I want to train properly again) were: Running Like a Girl and Confessions of a Fat Marathoner. Both books go into the good, bad and ugly of running – from losing your confidence after a bad training run to the thrill of crossing the finish line. Check them out and let me know what you think.

Take a deep breath. Let it all sink in. Over the next few days to a month, start putting your thoughts, goals and expectations into place. Do your research and properly gear up. We’ll focus on all the other “things” to a runDisney race but first things are first.

Feel free to ask me questions!

I’ll see you at the finish!