Having an event to work towards can be a huge boost to motivation and keep your food and training on track. Whether running, cycling or obstacles are your thing, there are a few pointers which can help you prepare as best you can, enjoy your race (as much as possible!) and make the recovery sweeter- Whatever discipline you choose.
Read on to get the low down on things to remember before the day comes.
Not convinced this is for you? Read Why You Should Bite The Bullet And Enter That Challenge.
1. Training Plan
So you have your race date set, now all you have to do is stay consistent with the training. Give yourself plenty of time to work yourself up to going the full distance, then work on speed if you need more of a challenge. Be sure to include some resistance workouts along with the CV training for optimum results. If you need help with said planning, check out the Hell Yeah Healthy programs.
Tip 1.5: Train with the race in mind. Whilst training, use the sessions to work out which outfit feels most comfortable and which water bottle/waterpack you're going to use. Nothing worse than having to continue whilst constantly being distracted by wardrobe malfunctions.
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Food and fitness go hand in hand. If you're training you need to be fuelling your body with the right stuff. Go for plenty of veggies, protein, healthy fats and good quality complex carbs- Variety is key for ticking off all those vitamins and minerals we need.
As for race-day brekkie, give it plenty of time to digest before you start warming up (no one wants to see breakfast twice) and again, during training have a play around with what works best for you.
My go to event-day breakfast is overnight oats in protein shake with one chopped banana and some chia seeds. This is a good mix of slow and quick release energy, plus it's delicious.
And, as always: Water.
3. Pack- List
With everything else to think about, if you can make something more stress-free then go for it! Writing a To-Pack/To-Do list helps.
- Safety pins (for race numbers), ID and pen (for registration, just incase).
- Spare clothes and shoes.
- Towel, wipes and plastic bag for grubby kit.
- Water, plus spare water.
- General stuff like money, phone etc.
4. Rest Up
It's common sense, but if you want to perform well then it's probably wise to give your muscles time to rest and recover. Give your body some down time and leave any 'hard' workouts out in the few days before hand- It would not be fun to race with heavy sore muscles simply because you mis-timed your training.
5. Game Plan
The evening before a race, try to get an early night and spend a few minutes visualising the race ahead. Go through the course (if you know it) and see yourself using all the tools you have to use- Such as pacing, self talk, splitting the race up in to segments and staying positive.
Useful post: 4 Quick and Easy Mindhacks For Exercise
6. Take The Pressure Off
When all of the above is done, take a deep breath and let it go. Know that you've prepared the best you can so now all that's left is to sleep and see how it goes.
Most nerves and anxieties come from the pressure we pile on to ourselves, so try to see it for what it is. A chance for you to test your body, do your best, complete a challenge and get a time to improve on for your next event.
Catch Part 2: 5 Top Tips For A Happy Race here.
Part 3: 5 Post-Race Recovery Tips here
There you have it- My top tips for smashing your first race! Did I miss anything? Do you have any other tips you rely on? Let me know in the comments section below
Ready to take on a race but want an effective program to follow, some support and a ton of encouragement? Check out why all Hell Yeah Healthy Programs work and then find your perfect match ❤