Whether you’re new to running and obstacle course races or you’re a seasoned racer, training and nutrition are essential. With the right training, run and recovery plan, you stand a better chance of finishing your race and feeling great after. A training plan helps you improve your fitness level, track your progress and minimise the risk of injury, so don’t neglect this important preparatory stage.
Here are four simple ways to stay motivated and stick to your training plan:
Change things up – Vary your training route; new sights and trails keep things interesting.
Track your progress – A diary or record of milestones is great encouragement when motivation is lagging.
Know your goals – Keep in mind your original goal or objective for running the race.
Visualise success – Overcome doubts with a positive attitude and visualising success.
On average, you should consume 2 litres of water per day, but your individual needs may differ as some people perspire more. Stay hydrated by drinking small amounts of water or sports drinks like Lucozade Sport™ before, throughout and after training to prevent dehydration.
A balanced and nutritional diet with the right carbohydrates helps to fuel your training while protein helps to build, maintain and repair muscle tissue. Carbohydrates are your main source of energy; you can take a high-carb meal like 4 slices of toast with jam and a banana, or 200g of baked beans on a jacket potato three or four hours before exercise.
Good sources of protein include lean meat, eggs, fish, nuts and yogurt; take 15-20g of protein together with carbohydrates within an hour of finishing your exercise session to improve your recovery. Try two boiled eggs, 200g yoghurt or 100g almonds.
Rule Your Run
You may have been training for months but what you do the day before and on the morning of your race still plays an important role in your performance.
In addition to getting an early night, make sure you eat well the night before, with carbohydrate-rich foods like pasta, rice, bread and potatoes to help provide fuel for your run. To start the day right, good options include porridge, toast, cereal, bagels and fruit juice. Overall, a good rule of thumb is to stick with familiar foods which you’ve been taking during training.
Dehydration can have a negative impact on your performance; even a 2% reduction in your body weight has been shown to negatively impact performance. Don’t neglect drinking before the race – keep a bottle of drink with you – little and often is key.
During a long race, the stores of carbohydrates in your body will get used up. To maintain consistent energy levels, aim to refuel with 30-60g of carbohydrates every hour with sports drinks, gels or energy bars – this would be equivalent to 1-2 Lucozade Sport™ bottles each hour of your race.
To help your body recover from the stresses of the race, carbohydrate-electrolyte drinks carbohydrates and protein help to replenish your body’s need for hydration and healing. Top that up with 20g of high quality protein (meat, fish or dairy) to help support muscle growth and strength.
Lastly, remember to combine post-race rest with stretching and light activity. So go ahead, go out there and #RuleYourRun!