So, your friend has just asked if you would like to do an event with them, but you are terrified of what it involves. You have come to the right place. Read on to help find the 5 best tips to get ready and prepared for the biggest race of your life!
Before you even start to actually prepare for the event, set yourself a smart goal. S.M.A.R.T stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. For example, if you would like to run a 5km course, set yourself a realistic goal of doing it in something like 30mins instead of 15 mins. This also makes the goal measurable as you can see how far you have gone. Make sure your event has a date and is locked in.
ALL THE GEAR, NO IDEA?
Make sure you have the appropriate gear before even starting to train. Know about your gear and equipment - for example make sure you know how to pump up a tyre or how to put the chain back on your bike. This may include running shoes, a bike or swimming goggles whatever the event is, be prepped and ready to go. When running make sure you wear the right clothes that are comfortable and aren't going to constrict your movements or cause chafing or blisters. Be sun safe and wear a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses if possible.
Make a training plan of when you are going to train and for how long. For example, if your goal is to do a 10km run, start in week 1 by running a smaller distance and slowly build from there. You should aim to run a little bit further and faster each week. Make sure you get the training under your belt, this way you will enjoy your race day better and not worry if you're going to make it or not.
HYDRATION AND NUTRITION
Hydration levels are important for both a short term race and a long endurance race. It takes 72 hrs to top up our body's water sources, so start a few days in advance drinking lots of H2 0. Aiming for 2-3L a day depending on your body weight. The formula for working out how much water your body needs per day is every 33kg you need a Litre of water. For example, if you weigh in the 60kgs you will need about 2L. Remember dehydration causes a significant performance drop and can potentially lead to heat exhaustion which can be life threatening.
When it comes to nutrition before the race, don't try and change anything. Stick to what foods you know and what is comfortable for your body. Before the race try to have some low GI carbohydrates which will give you a slow release of energy compared to High GI foods. Some low GI options before the race are oats, rice or wholemeal/ grain bread. If it is an endurance event you may need to fuel up mid race. At this stage you may need some fast absorbing carbohydrates such as energy bars or gels or a banana. After the race a combination of lean protein and carbs will aide in your recovery. An example of a meal could be lean chicken with brown rice or sweet potato.
We all know stretching is important but we may all forget to stretch out those legs before the race. The best form of stretching before starting your race is dynamic stretching, this involves moving the body actively through its range of motion. Some examples of dynamic stretching are leg kicks or leg swings, high knees or running on the spot.
After the race, stretch those muscles out with a static stretch. This involves holding a stretch for 10- 30 seconds. For example, a quad stretch is a good static stretch. Start with holding your foot and bringing your leg back, you should feel a stretch down the front of your leg, also known as your quad muscles.
Enjoy the journey of preparing for your event, it will help keep you fit and focused. Have a great event and make sure to enjoy every step!
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.