There are countless reasons why people engage in different types of exercise. Some people have the simple aim of staying fit and healthy, whereas other people are training for particular events or sports performance.
If you are someone who exercises because you want to enjoy running events then there are some key things to keep in mind!
When you are training for a running event then the arguably the most important thing you can do is to put the practice in beforehand. If you do not do an adequate amount of training before race day, then you may find that you struggle to get around the course.
Your pre-race training does not have to always be in the form of running, and you may find other forms of cardiovascular exercise to be just as beneficial. If you are able to access your local gym then you can try the rowing machine, the step machine or a bike for a good change. If you prefer to train outsude of the gym then you may want to get yourself a bike and get out for regular rides.
The Right Equipment
One of the fantastic things about running is you don't necessarily need a lot of equipment to get going. But the one thing you should always make sure you do have is a good pair of running trainers!
If you run in unsuitable footwear — especially for prolonged periods of time — then you are at a heightened risk of injury and accidents.
There are several running related injuries — such as plantar fasciitis — that can really impact your day to day mobility. These conditions can be short lived but can also last for a very long time or become permanent problems. So be sure to invest wisely in your footwear and to take good care of these shoes.
If you want to keep track of your progress to see if you are getting faster, then getting some kind of device to track your stats is also a good idea. This can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. For example, you could use an app on your phone to track your distance, or you could purchase a sports watch with a heart rate monitor. The latter of these two options will really allow you to see how you are getting fitter as your training develops. However, the first option will still be a good indicator of how you are getting on!
There is no need to spend a lot of money to enjoy running, and the expense of some of the more complcated gadgets is never something that should put you off simply getting out for a run!
Preparing For Your Race
As the day of your event draws closer it is important to pay attention to your diet and to your sleep cycle.
You will need to fuel your body with carbohydrates in order to give it the energy it requires to run a long distance — even if this race is 10 kilometres or less. So be sure to enjoy some healthy carbohydrate based meals in the days leading up to your event.
Getting enough sleep is so important for many different reasons, but is somehting you should pay particular attention to when you are getting ready to run a race. You will want your energy levels to be as optimum as possible so that you can power round the track.
If you find that your sleep cycle is generally not good, then it is worth investigating why this is. You may try avoiding caffeinated and alcoholic drinks, and also doing some light exercise, such as yoga, in the hours leading up to your bed time. Simply having a bed time can also help as this better enables your body to get into a good routine.
Practice Under Race Conditions
If you are worried about your ability to complete the distance involved in your event, then having a practice run is a great idea.
Map out your route and take everything with you that would normally take on race day. This might just be a bottle of water, but could also include energy gels and other energy-boosting snacks, such as nuts.
Run the practice route at a sensible pace and check in with yourself as you go. If you can't yet complete the route that you prepared for yourself then you will know that there's still more training to be done before you can hit the track for your event.
Your health and safety should always be your top concern when getting ready for a race. If you feel like you are pushing yourself too hard then you probably are! In this instance it is smart to take your training back a notch to protect yourself against possible injury.