Steps To Prepare For Your Next Challenge
Sports events are in!
Whether you are an athlete, just want to have some fun with your friends or are looking for motivation to get fitter.
Major events becoming more popular include obstacle races, triathlons, ironman, swims, cycling and good ol’ fashion marathons.
No matter what you’re into, you’re going to have to train hard to condition your body for the gruelling challenge ahead.
Here are some popular events around Australia:
• City 2 Surf – A 6 or 14km fun run that you can use to measure your fitness and improve on your previous times
• The Color Run – Wear white and get doused in colour while you run during the untimed ‘Happiest 5k on the Planet’
• Tough Mudder – A mentally and physically demanding muddy obstacle course to test your strength, endurance, fitness and teamwork
• Spartan Race – Choose from 7, 14, 21 or 42kms of demanding obstacles to conquer individually or as a team
• Half Marathon – A 21.1km run that can be completed on a variety of terrains
• Marathon – A 42.2km long physically and mentally challenging run
• Triathlon – A 1500m swim followed by a 40km bike ride and a 10km run requires impressive level of fitness, stamina and mental strength
• Ironman – A longer triathlon consisting of a 3800m swim, 180km bike ride and a 42km run that requires an ultra-high level of fitness and endurance
• The Big Swim – A 2.8km ocean swim requiring swimmers to adapt their pace, style and direction based on changing water conditions
• Ride to Conquer Cancer – This two day, 200km cycling challenge has break stops every 25-30kms and involves a night camping with fellow riders
Once you have chosen your event follow these steps so that you can smash out any major event that you are taking on.
Timeframe And Goals
Take note of the date and how long you have until the event. Your performance will be determined by your current fitness ability and the amount of time that you have to improve it.
Set a goal for yourself whether it is just to have a fun day, improve previous time or to make it to the end of your first triathlon!
Create A Training Plan
Take an honest look at where you are now and highlight things that you need to work on before race day.
It might be helpful to enlist a fitness professional who specialises in your event sport/s to put together a training schedule for you.
They will also be able to give you tips on how to improve your technique, monitor and motivate you along the way and develop a strategy for race day.
Regardless of the type of event, developing your body strength will allow you to move easier and faster while taking longer to fatigue.
Strength training should be incorporated into your training program and should be tailored to your particular sport.
For example, marathon runners should try weighted squats and deadlifts to develop leg strength and obstacle course runners should focus on functional exercises such as burpees, lunges and pull-ups to improve total body strength.
Exercises such as sprint drills and high intensity interval training (HIIT) will also help you to develop your cardiovascular fitness.
When coupled with your longer running, cycling or swimming sessions, your endurance should greatly improve setting you up well for race day.
Breathing exercises can also help to develop stronger lunges giving you a steadier stream of oxygen to fuel your body and improve your endurance.
Dial In Your Nutrition
Make sure that you are getting enough calories to fuel your training sessions and promote recovery.
Your diet should consist of whole foods with quality sources of protein, complex carbohydrates, good fats and plenty of vitamins and minerals.
A nutritionist can put together a tailored plan for you to support you on the road to your event.
The week before the race should consist of easy training and/or rest days so that you arrive full of energy, ready to smash those goals!