Signed up for a half marathon, a triathlon, an ultra or any other race? These essential tips will get you race ready!
Competing in races is incredibly fun but does require planning, commitment and training. There is no one size fits all when it comes to getting race ready. Finding out what works best for you is key, whether that is with the help of a friend or family member, a coach or trial and error.
The below tips are by no means prescriptive or exhaustive but have always worked well for us.
The more information you can pull together about the race, the better. Speak to people who have completed the race previously and ask them for tips about the course, gear used, travel arrangements or perhaps about things they would have done differently. Good preparation is half your race.
SET A GOAL
Having a race in the diary is great motivation to train. Setting goals to work and train towards will incentivize you and make training more enjoyable. Make sure you set ambitious but achievable goals.
Training consistently will improve the quality of each training session allowing you to build fitness. It is not the one-off monster session that will help you to reach your goals; it is consistent hard work. Draft a training schedule and stick to it.
VARY YOUR TRAINING
Your body is smarter than you think and will quickly adapt to your training routine. You will not see big gains by performing the same sessions week in week out. Surprise your body by varying your training schedule. You will not only see gains but will most likely also have a little more fun with it. If you lack inspiration, work with a coach or trainer.
NAIL YOUR NUTRITION
We can’t stress enough how important nutrition is, not just as a fuel for training but also as a key component to overall health. For sustained energy levels, eat unprocessed, nutrient dense foods that do not spike blood sugar levels. Training requires a lot from your body; ensure you fuel it appropriately not only during but also before and after training. Have a nutrition plan ready for your race and ensure that you have tested this during training. Race day is not the time to try new fuel! Stick to what worked well during training.
WORK ON TECHNIQUE
Good technique will make you more efficient and will decrease the risk of injury. Investing time in improving technique is time well spent.
ALLOW TIME FOR RECOVERY
Recovery is an essential piece in the training puzzle and often overlooked. Remember that gains are made when you rest, not when you train. Your body needs time to repair to become stronger and faster. A good recovery regime includes quality sleep, nutrition, stretching, massage or foam rolling and the occasional rest day!
Train smart, race fast!