Anxious about your next race? We've put together a few points on how you should train for your next race. Training for a race isn't easy, you have to put in the hours to train especially if this will be your first ever running race. Don't decide to just 'wing it' on the day of the race or you'll definitely pay for it. Here are some points to help you out with your next race:
- Set a goal for your race. Setting a goal is a key element that will keep you motivated along the training period. Have your goals set before you get started. We suggest using a journal (or a to-do-list app) to write down these goals. It's nice to be able to look back at what you wrote rather than just having your goals set in your mind.
- Ensure you have the proper gear such as running clothes that you feel most comfortable with when running and invest on a good pair of running shoes (whether it's road or a trail race).
- Understand your race track. Do not practice blindly. There are various race tracks, know whether the course is hilly or trail. Your race track should determine your training environment. Train accordingly.
- Schedule your training days and hours. We suggest using some type of running watch so you can track at how you're doing and if you are actually making improvements. According to runnersworld.com, "most training plans (for a marathon) call for 16 to 20 weeks of training. You’ll typically run three to five times per week (sometimes more), and your weekly mileage total will gradually increase as you get closer to the big race day."
- Having a lazy day? Start your training with a running buddy. You can motivate each other and train together. If you don't have anyone to run with you, consider using an app like Strava. It's a great way to motivate you to practice even when you don't have another person running beside you.
- Your body builds strength only when you rest. Your body gets more tired and worn out during the training period. Make sure you nourish your body by sleeping for extra hours.
- Your body is working harder during the training period compared to the regular days. Do some stretches after each run to avoid injuries. It will keep you limber and injury free.
- Load up on carbs. You should eat pasta, rice, potatoes, or other high-carb food days before your race, especially if you are running a half or a full marathon. Carbohydrates are a great source of energy, and you need a lot of energy to survive the last half of the race.
- On the big day (and the day before), avoid eating anything cheesy, creamy, saucy or anything that is rich in fiber or you will find yourself desperately looking for a washroom during the race.
- If it's a trail, avoid running and landing on your toes pointed or even slightly pointing down. This will eventually cause knee pain when you put too much pressure on your toes. Try landing mid-foot as you run.
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