From running shoes to race day, the key to running is in the prep
Preparation. It’s not a word we always love. It’s like thinking about Christmas but then having to think about how long it is until you get there. Perhaps, it’s better to think about the feeling of crossing the finish line relative to the hardship of getting there. Point is, often, the very thing that’s needed is the thing we don’t want to have to do.
Running is even harder in this sense. At times, it’s difficult to think about going for a run, let alone actually going for one.
Thankfully, with running preparation, there’s a twist.
Unlike our unholy Christmas waiting times, what we can do before we reach our desired outcome can actually make that outcome more desirable. Just like saving up your own hard-earned cash to buy something you want, rather than being gifted it, putting in the effort beforehand makes the victory oh-so-sweeter.
Simply, put the time into running prep to make running better. Maybe I should have just said that?
Whether it’s your first half marathon attempt or your first running event entirely, you should always take the right path to maximise your running performance. Usually, it’s easier than you think.
Let’s break down some ways to best go about it.
You snooze you… win?
They say that if you snooze, you lose. With running preparation, the opposite is true. You should try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night during training. While it can be hard at times, evidence suggests that a little bit of sleep loss can add a whole lot of detriment to your performance.
Make sure to set goals. It’s simple, but people don’t always do it right. From learning a few tips to a fully-fledged training plan, setting goals helps to break down progression, gives you an achievable target, and makes you feel bloody good when you hit them.
Cleveland Clinic writes, ”Unfortunately, things happen on race day that are out of our control. You might not feel your best, or the weather may not cooperate. For example, a downpour on the day of the race will slow everyone down. As a result, you might not hit the time you wanted, but you could have a secondary target in mind to work toward.” So it’s important to think about secondary goals too.
Stick to the plan, if there even is one.
Planning is integral, really. Sure, you can wing it and do okay, but we all want to do our best, so get a plan together. It doesn’t have to be extensive, but it does need to point you in the right direction. From fatty foods intake to running form work, static stretching routines to the right warm-up, running encompasses a lot, and you should be thinking about it.
In conclusion, well… do what you need to? It’s not hard, and I don’t want to patronise you, but you simply should be taking the right steps to improve your game. To improve your game is to improve, well, you, and that’s one of the best goals at the moment.
What’s a dynamic stretch?
A dynamic stretch, like the open-gate stretches, are exercises that warm you up in motion. They’ve been proven to garner better results than static stretches like, say, a lunge, which incorporates both your front and back leg
When should I begin eating?
It depends on your own routine, how many calories you’re burning when you get up, how your body responds to food and running, and so on – do the right thing and do the research.
Running tips will obviously vary based on many factors for marathon runners vs 5k’ers, to what sports drink to take, to mentally approaching the starting line. Find out what works for you and build from there, and remember, even small changes can make a big difference.