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8 ways to prepare your mind and body for a sporting event
As we come in the summer months, thousands of people across the UK take part in major sporting events – either for themselves or for charity. Whether it’s a walk, long distance run, triathlon, cycle ride or swim – there are a few things that you will need to think about and prepare beforehand. Of course there is making sure that you are in good physical shape – but there is also the matter of appropriate gear, good eating and lots of rest. Take some time to consider the below, so you can finish your race in style!
1. Make an exercise plan
Get this down as soon as you sign up for your race and take advice from a personal trainer if you need to. It’s important to assess here what is realistic within the realms of your day-to-day life. There is no point in over stretching yourself and then feeling disappointed when you fall behind on your plan. Mix in shorter training sessions, with longer ones at the weekend and even if you are training for one particular discipline (i.e. running), make sure you also concentrate on building your body strength in other ways.
2. Set realistic goals
This is extremely important, and possibly should come before making your exercise plan! It’s important to know what your body is willing and can do. For example, it might be silly to take on a marathon training only 5 months before when you have never run before! Assess your life and goals and find the balance between the two. This will give you a sense of what is realistic, achievable and therefore – successful!
3. Get hydrated
Ensuring you are properly hydrated is EXTREMELY important during an intense exercise plan, as well as in the run up to your race. Aim for a minimum of 1.5 litres a day – if not 2 litres!
4. Get into a regular sleeping pattern
Maybe this sounds obvious but making sure you get into a regular sleeping pattern in the weeks running up to the event is vital. Your body needs this time to repair, rest and rejuvenate, ready to go for the next lot of training! Sleep is just as essential as training, drinking water and eating well.
5. Cut down your training a couple of weeks before
As the race gets closer, it’s important to start tapering your training, so your body has enough time to recover after every session and is fully rested for the event. Also minimises the chances of any last minute injury!
6. Shrink your portion sizes and choose healthy, nutritious food
You should of course be eating a whole and balanced diet throughout the entirety of your training but it’s a good idea to cut back on portion sizes a few weeks before too. This will prevent any unexpected weight gain when you have cut back on your training. Throughout training, consume lots of healthy proteins, green vegetables and make sure you load up on some good carbs after any intense training session.
7. Pack your bag the night before
Again – maybe alarmingly obvious, but make sure everything is ready and prepared the night before your event. Making sure all your gear is in check, you have your race number; you know where you are going will save you A LOT of stress.
8. Go to the race feeling positive!!!
Eat a wholesome breakfast two hours before your race – if not longer, to allow time for maximum digestion. Hydrate in the morning and off you go! Feel proud of whatever you achieve – any sporting event is a huge accomplishment!
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