There seems to be something magical about the concept of running and racing with many people amicably. With the advent of fun runs, people join in for various reasons—for a cause usually to help out those in need, for fitness and health, for the sake of finishing a marathon or merely experiencing it feels to achieve one of their goals in their bucket list.
Have you been pondering about joining a fun run as well? If so, this article will guide you on how to prepare before your dream becomes a reality.
1. Stick to a training plan. To improve your performance during the fun run, you should have established your training plan ahead. You can either choose to increase your mileage slowly but steadily, play with speed while running faster, or a combination of these two approaches. Most novice runners choose the first plan, as speed training (second one) puts in more pressure to the body.
It’s more worthwhile to continue running over a farther distance with the same speed until you gain more endurance to pass on to the next level of training. If it’s your first time to run, don’t worry about being the race champion but just enjoy it in a steady pace. The tortoise won over the hare, anyway.
2. Monitor your diet. Drink about two liters of water every day in two weeks before the race. In the same vein, have a nutritionally sound diet and healthy meal consisting of vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, low carbohydrates and fruits.Don’t wait until the very last day prior the fun run before keeping hydrated and keeping up a balanced diet. Note that it’s very important to not skip a meal, especially on the night before the race.
On the day itself, consume a light breakfast two hours prior to your race.Two pieces of bread with banana or porridge with water will do.
3. Warm up. Warming up helps avoid risks of personal injury and makes the training easier and more effective. Fight your temptation of skipping the muscle stretching, brisk walking, and jogging a bit before the actual run. Devote 15 to 20 minutes of your time to prepare and follow the process of quelling your nerves before getting worked up.
4. Sleep well and have enough rest. Don’t think of sleeping very late at night before the “fun run day.” Commit to at least seven hours of sleeping in two weeks for your mind to stay awake and fit. Remember that an increased training load requires more sleep to facilitate sufficient recovery. If you opt to run for greater mileages and high intensity training sessions, then you should allow your body to have more rest as it is required. By resting, your body will be overall recuperated and recovered;else, you will feel a lot stressed out and damage your muscles faster.
5. Bring the essentials. Prepare your running kit and see if everything is as planned before the big day. Check your shoe laces, your running shoes, race outfit, socks, water jug or bottle, first aid kit, towels, extra shirts, course map and other essentials.
Running in a fun run should be an enjoyable experience and not a chore. Don’t overstress, overstretch and over exert yourself. Find your balance by starting slow and increase your pacing speed or mileage when you’re comfortable. Think that your goal is to finish and don’t worry much about ranking. And again, remember that it’s best to get prepared. If you run for a cause, tiredness is temporary but pride remains forever.
Nicole So is a freelance writer, regular runner and a former backpacker. Her hobbies are writing, photography and traveling. She also writes for other blogs and for some clients. Follow her escapades in google+.