You’ve entered your first race. That’s a great start, but now what? Now you need to train. Training is the only way you will be the best during that first race. It’s the only way that you will develop the stamina to get to the end in a time that you are proud of. Here are six tips to help you be the best during your first race.
It doesn’t matter what type of race event you’re entering, you need to have a full training schedule. This schedule will need to be developed over the course of the weeks and months running up to your race.
If you have six weeks, you will need to make sure you are from your current standard to race standard within that time.
Racing is more than just being at your peak fitness. You need to have the right diet before, during and after the race.
The afterwards is more for recovery, but before and during will improve your capabilities on the day and makes sure you have the right amount of energy you need. Different lengths and types of races will require different nutritional diets. Read up on the recommended diet for your specific length and type and follow it.
Hydration is important. More people drop out of races because they were ill-prepared for the dehydration that can happen during events. This is especially the case for the longer ones.
Cramps and stitches are extremely common when the body starts to get dehydrated, but you can also suffer from dizziness, fatigue and an overall feeling of not being well. Make sure you drink plenty of water before, during and after the event.
You do not need to train the day before your event.
You should ensure that you have at least one day off each week anyway, but you need to make sure the day before is definitely left free. This even involves now minimal training, like stretching out the muscles in the swimming pool. Your body will go through a lot the next day, and you don’t want to feel the after-effects from the day before’s training.
You can’t go into a race tired. If you do, you will not perform properly on the day. Focus on getting the right amount of sleep every day.
If there is a day where you feel overtired, it is usually best to take the day off and move the training to the next day if you can. Training when you are overtired leads to the risk of making mistakes and suffering from injuries.
You don’t go straight into training without warming up and stretching, do you? Well, you shouldn’t.
This will just increase the risk of injury. The same applies to your first race. You need to warm up adequately before the event.