June is always a big month for both myself and for clients. This weekend (18/6/16) I’ll be taking part in the Rat Race- The Wall which is running for its fifth year. Athletes taking part cover sixty-nine miles in one day overall. On the 26th June I’ll also be taking part in the local Merchant Taylors Triathlon Event. What both of these fun yet incredibly challenging events have in common is that they are both endurance events.
There are many different types of races and sporting evenings, from cycling to sprinting and obstacle races to traditional endurance events such as marathons. What they all have in common is that they require participants to think carefully and plan their preparation as any event that expects this level of stamina is one which needs preparing for in advance.
Knowing the track / trail well and knowing yourself better will help you set short, medium and long term goals. Your end goal could be simply to finish the event, or it could be to finish it within a certain time. A short term goal could be to complete the first stage during training by a set stage and medium term goals could all be milestones to aim for when putting a training package for yourself together.
Know what you want and then train to get it!
· Training for an endurance race, particularly extreme ones like this must take place over a period of time, building endurance and stamina. You should start training for the event months in advance, longer if you are still working at increasing your fitness from a basic level.
· Taking it step by step, for example increasing your distances gradually every day you train, pushing yourself that little further each time you go out is a brilliant way to increase your stamina.
· Get to know your event. It is unlikely that you will be running around on a stadium track and so you need to know what kind of surface you will be running or cycling on, whether it is a flat race/event or whether there are inclines to take into account. Running up and down hills needs a whole different level of event training as your body needs to learn to run up and down, recover and move on!
· When running an event such as the Rat Race you will be carrying a pack with all of your provisions. Training without a realistically loaded pack will not prepare you for the event. Keep this in mind and train with a pack, increasing the weight load as your training progresses.
· The specifics of your training plan will depend on the type or types of events you plan on entering however overall endurance / stamina building exercise as well as cardio are great places to start.
· Rest! While the aim of the game is to keep going you need to know when to rest, how to rest and cool off (walking strategically) and of course you need to be trained up yet well rested before the event starts.
Food and Drink
Hydration is vital in during events like these and the very best way to work out how much water you need to carry and drink over the course of the event is to know your own body and work it out during training. While it may be tempting to lighten the load of your pack for event day consider that as you drink your pack weight will reduce anyway! Take care to keep an eye on your electrolytes as well as your water levels, including a suitable electrolyte replacement drink or snack.
Food wise, don’t stint on your pre-event meals or your snack. Food is fuel and not only keeps you going, it helps you recover. Again, know your body and experiment during the training months to find what snack intervals and food types best give you what you need.
1. Prepare for the weather as well as the terrain (check the forecast and dress appropriately)
2. Wear in your trainers / running shoes and event day gear. The last thing you want is a blister, unnecessary comfort.
3. Have a blister kit on you with extra socks, plasters and more and don’t wait for rest breaks / pit stops before dealing with them as the extra time running with rubbing could make all of the difference to your ability to continue for the rest of the event.
Are you an endurance event fan? What are your favourite events and top tips?
If you’re racing this month…. Good luck!