Saturday, September 18, 2021

4 mistakes to NOT MAKE before your first fun run


Whether it’s your first or fiftieth, there are certain things you should do to prepare for a fun run. Founder of Flow Athletic Ben Lucas gives four common mistakes and what you should do instead. 

There is no doubt that many Aussies took up running last year as a way of getting out of the house during the lockdowns. Now that running season has been given the green light, it makes sense that there will be a lot of new runners on the track.

But there as a few mistakes that new runners can accidentally make that may affect their first experience. Here are my top tips for avoiding them.

The day before a run fun is not the best day to change your diet

People can go two ways before a fun run, they can eat super healthy and start taking additional things such as protein shakes, or they may feel that they need to “carb load” and down some pizza to give them more energy.

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The truth is that you shouldn’t change your diet the day before a fun run, because the day before is not a good time to discover whether the food agrees with you or not.

If you are planning on taking supplements or eating certain foods the day before or the day of, start consuming those foods two weeks before the event to see how you go with it. Especially if you are running a longer distance.

The other thing to consider is that running events often start in the morning so you also need to be mindful of the hour you are eating and how it will make you feel.

Don’t wear new clothes or shoes

We love to treat ourselves when we sign up for a challenge, and that is fine but again do it a few weeks before the run. You don’t want to be breaking in new shoes and as a result getting blisters on running day. You also don’t want to discover that your tights are uncomfortable and your t-shirt is chafing you. Just like with food, practice what you are going to wear in training first

Make sure you taper off your training

Tapering off essentially means reducing your training prior to the event. The reason for this is that you want to have maximum energy and minimal soreness on race day. One week before the event, start to reduce the number of kms you are running.

Don’t lift as heavy or train as hard in the gym either. It is still good to exercise and run, but don’t overdo it, more do it to keep fit and keep your body moving.

Do pre-plan your route

Keep in mind that when a fun run is happening there are often street closures. Try not to leave looking up how to get to the starting line to the last minute. No one needs that stress early in the morning when they should be focusing on their race.

There are so many amazing events happening and after a year of lockdowns now is a great time to sign up and try it out.

If you are new to running and want to try on a flatter and faster track, check out the Real Insurance Sydney Harbour 10K/5K which is also being run virtually as well for those who are interstate. This is a great track as it is flat, fast and it is the first major event happening since lockdowns so you can practice before hitting a harder course.

The City 2 Surf is also lots of fun, beware of the big hill and make sure you practice hill sprints ahead of doing this track as it isn’t called “heartbreak hill” for nothing.

If you want to run a marathon or half marathon distance, try that Blackmores Sydney Running Festival, Run Melbourne of the Gold Coast Marathon. All are an amazing day out.

Ben Lucas is the founder of Flow Athletic. You can find his running program here

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