With the Cook Medical Women’s Mini Marathon taking place in Limerick on 29th October, what should you be doing to prepare for a race?
Your race training regime needs to start at least 8 weeks before an event. Here are some tips for training plans, what to eat, and even what to wear in the weeks leading up to a big race event.
The reality is you will have to put in hard work repetitively day after day in order to be adequately prepared for a race. It’s important to stay focused and positive while training your body for the event you have chosen to enter. Remember why you are doing it, whether it’s to push yourself to a new challenge or to raise money for a community or charity close to your heart, keep the overall goal in mind.
If it is your first time or you are not sure how to train for the event or can’t find enough information about how to train on your own, my advice is to get a trainer or join a club that would help you to create a training plan. The plan has to have running and stretching involved to keep you fit and injury free, but it also must include rest days.
Yes there will be rest days to recover your muscles and refuel your body, but it doesn’t mean you will be lying on the couch for the evening! You should still do some kind of an activity on your rest day – just make sure it is a break from your usual running activity. For example, go for a walk, go to a Spin class or try out Pilates. If you are very tired, stretch out and do some foam rolling for your tight muscles to avoid injuries. Do it for at least 30 mins to relax your muscles and be ready for the next day to train again.
Remember to take two rest days a week, but avoid having two in a row.
It’s very important to drink plenty of water daily, especially on the days you are training. Being hydrated helps your muscles to recover faster and helps to ease the burn during training. Drinking plenty of water regularly throughout the day helps your body to perform at its highest level.
Eating healthily daily is just as important as training daily. After a hard training session your body will be craving is good quality carbohydrates and protein. I would recommend you to get a food plan from a nutritionist, but truthfully you don’t have to spend the cash on a programme, as long as you seek out good quality, reliable information online.
• Remember to eat greens and drink water in each meal
• Have smaller portions of food every 3 hours
•Have 3 meals that contain good quality carbohydrates/ protein/ fats
• Add 2 meals as snacks e.g. apple/nuts or whey protein shake
•Avoid eating too late in the evening
•Self-control and discipline in eating will prepare you better for the event
No matter if you are entering a weight lifting or running event (or both), you must make sure that your footwear is comfortable and helps your performance. Many sports shops provide a service that can help you to make a good choice for your footwear. Wear a supportive Sports bra that you can jump/ throw/ run in. Choose T-shirts and leggings or shorts that you are comfortable in and your skin can breathe in.
Good sports wear doesn’t have to break the bank either – TK Maxx and Penneys do great quality sportswear so you can look and feel good!
Final Week Prep
Prior your competition take up to 3 days nice and easy with training to relax your body and repair the muscles, stretch and hydrate. Eat extra carbohydrates and drink more water as you will need all the energy because naturally you will push harder than in any training session before.
Prepare mentally for the day, imagine how the event could go; imagine how you wish it to go from start to the finish line, and imagine what could go wrong so that you are prepared just in case.
Make sure you had plenty of sleep the night before and your bag is ready for the morning.
Bag preparation check list:
• Food and snacks
• Water and sugary drinks
• Warm clothes and extra change of clothes
• Extra footwear
Once you have everything you need, leave early so you are on time for the race and can have a good warm up and get used to the location its held at before your event.
I advise everyone to challenge their body and mind time to time to become stronger and better version of themselves. Best of luck in your race and ENJOY!
Article by: Sintija Zorge
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