It feels like a long time ago since we were last able to stand at the start of a running event. Waiting for the moment before we make those first steps across the starting line and feeling the energy from the crowds of athletes and cheering spectators.
As lockdown slowly comes to an end, more and more activities open up in various cities around the world. The running industry is conducting precautionary testing to ensure the sport can continue safely & responsibly – meaning it won’t be long until we will be able to run an event ourselves. But how do we prepare for an event like this after waiting so long? Well, worry no more – we’ve compiled a list of our top 5 tips to help ensure you’re in the best position to smash your first running event post-lockdown! Enjoy.
Tip 1: Have a training schedule
Having a solid training schedule is a surefire way to get you back on track. By having a well-rounded running programme, you can ensure you’re getting the best out of your time spent training. Being vigilant with structured training will also help you to allocate dedicated rest days to avoid picking up an injury ahead of the big day.
Tip 2: Get enough rest
If this is your first time training in a while, ensure you return gradually & safely. During a run, your body has a lot to endure. Therefore, it’s very important to start gradually and allow sufficient time for recovery so that your body can adapt and the risk of injuries stay low. If you’re training regularly, during your rest days your body will continue working as these moments give your body a chance to adapt to your new training loads making you stronger and fitter. Besides taking rest days, it is also vital you are providing your body with sufficient levels of sleep. Sleep is often considered to be more important than your volume of training. By giving your body 7-9 hours of good quality sleep each night your body will recover quicker and you will then have enough energy for your next run.
Tip 3: Focus on nutrition
Your body will need to be fuelled properly to optimise training and perform well in any event. Therefore, it’s important you’re providing your body with the right nutrients. Check your macro-nutrient balance to ensure you are consuming sufficient amounts of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. By consuming high-carb foods such as bananas, pasta & certain grains – you will give your body enough energy to perform, but don’t forget that healthy fats and proteins are vital building blocks to keep your body in top condition. Also, make sure you remain hydrated particularly before your training. Once you start feeling thirsty your body is already dehydrated, and don’t forget proper rehydration takes time. Water is the basis of any hydration plan, but it’s good to remember that electrolytes can help maintain the body’s balance and help you hydrate more effectively.
Tip 4: Check your running gear
It is always good to check your running gear well before an event. You might need to get a new pair of running shoes, as the old ones laying around might not be fit for the job anymore. New shoes can often be a little stiff and need to be worn a few times to soften them so it is also important to try your event gear on early, to ensure its ready ahead of the big day.
Tip 5: Make the most of it
We know it feels good to set a new PR for your first run after lockdown. However, it is also good to listen to your body. Don’t be too concerned about time, just focus on sticking to your training structure, on race day your first objective should be finishing. The best times are almost always run with negative splits, so start off slowly and see how you feel as you progress. If you’re still feeling fresh at the later stages you can always kick a bit harder and if you do set a new PR, it’s a nice bonus. Keep in mind there is always another race. Perhaps more importantly, make sure to enjoy every minute of it!
Of course it’s still early and we have to remember to stay safe at all times to ensure we can all be happy to be back to participating in a sport that we all love so much. So, follow these 5 tips to help you on your way and you’ll be ready to race in no time! Let us know which event you are most looking forward to or your favourite training tips!
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