Having an event to work towards can be a huge boost to motivation and can help keep 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, and make the recovery sweeter- Whatever discipline you choose.
Read on to get the low down on things to remember for during the race to keep you going all the way to the finish line!
Didn't catch Part 1? 6 Handy Pre-Event Tips.
Not convinced this is for you? Read Why You Should Bite The Bullet And Enter That Challenge.
1. Warm Up
This is common sense, but be sure to leave enough time to park up, register, warm up and collect your thoughts before starting.
Warming up primes your body for what is to come and reduces the chances of injury. Take 10-15minutes to gradually raise your heart rate (powerwalk, gentle jog, bit more effort), limber up joints (knees, hips etc) and have a quick stretch.
*Some events have trainer-lead group warm ups which can be pretty fun if you get the chance!*
2. Calm Before The Storm
The atmosphere on race-day is totally different to a normal training session. Usually lots of crowds, lots going on and lots of other competitors. To avoid getting worked up/ anxious, take some deep breaths, look around and take it all in.
Take a few minutes near the start to focus, calm your mind and get ready. Go through your game plan (scroll down to #5), use some motivational self talk and take the pressure off once more:
"When all of the prep is done, take a deep breath and let it go. Know you've prepared the best you can so now all that's left is to do your best 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."
- Taken From Race Survival Series: Part 1
3. The First Mile
The first racing mile can feel awkward. You're all ready to shoot off, the starting horn goes and then... You shuffle forwards at a snails pace jostling for position with all the other competitors. This is usually the way it is, making your first mile somewhat slower than your average.
Be prepared for this, keep your eyes peeled for a line to open up for you to use and be patient!
4. Pace Yourself
If you're not used to running with a big group of people, pacing can be hard to judge. Some people use heart rate monitors or other gadgets but I prefer to try to listen to my body and my breathing and try to imagine I'm running as I normally would during training (but pushing it just a touch more). The key is to start steady and finish strong!
If you get overtaken, don't panic just keep going. If you pass people- Great, just keep going.
Some people like to target a competitor up ahead who is going at a similar pace and then work on 'hunting' them down bit by bit. This is a great way to keep you pushing forward but make sure you have enough in the tank to last the distance!
5. Mind Hacks To Keep You Going
Make full use of self coaching, mantras, singing and splitting the route up in to manageable chunks to help keep positive and pushing forwards.
For more info on these extremely useful tools, check out Mind Hacks For Exercise.
Tip 5.5: Don't wait until you're struggling to implement the tools, if you use them from the get-go you may surprise yourself at how good the race feels simply because of your positive mindset.
Click the link for Part 3: 5 Top Post-Race Recovery Tips
There you have it- My top tips for smashing your race. Did I miss anything? Do you have any other tips you rely on? Let me know!
Ready to take on an event but need an effective plan, some more support and a ton of encouragement? Check out why all Hell Yeah Healthy Programs work and then find your perfect match. ❤