We’re now firmly into event season, with running and other charity challenges taking place left, right and centre.
Mass participation events are a great motivator to get you and your family into shape. They give you a goal to aim for and if you’re fundraising too that will give you even more incentive to keep going.
With options ranging from walks and fun runs to 5 and 10k’s, marathons to Tough Mudders, there’s something for every age and fitness level.
So what are the secrets to event success? Here are my top tips:
Pick the right event
While it’s good to set stretching goals for yourself, don’t get too ambitious. If you don’t normally do a lot of exercise, or you have young kids who want to get involved, there are lots of shorter family fun runs and challenges which are accessible and fun, as well as a good workout. Once you’ve built up your fitness, why not set your sights on something harder?
Get kitted out
No matter what event you’ve chosen, you need to make sure you have the right kit. It could be as simple as getting a pair of comfortable trainers and a water bottle, but if you’re taking on something more serious, it’s important to carefully consider all your clothing and anything you need to carry. Get advice if you need to, particularly on the fit of your footwear.
Make it a team effort
Whether it’s with family, friends or colleagues, forming a team for an event can help you meet your own individual goals. For starters, it’s a lot more difficult to make excuses not to train when you have teammates relying on you. It’s also more fun having company while you’re training and during the event. In addition, being part of a team can create a little healthy competition, which gives everyone some added motivation. Plus it’s great for team building with colleagues or socialising in a fun and healthy way.
Set weekly goals
As with any project, you should break down your overall aim for the event into manageable weekly goals. You could have a goal for the number of training sessions, a particular distance you want to cover or a certain time you want to beat. Whatever you choose, remember to be realistic in your goal setting, otherwise you could end up feeling disheartened.
There are hundreds of apps and fitness trackers out there which can help you train for your chosen challenge. Couch to 5k, Runkeeper, Map My Tracks and MyFitnessPal are just a few I could mention. Using technology not only helps you to plan your training, but lets you to see your progress. There’s nothing more motivating than watching your distance covered increase or your time decrease and a lot of apps will also be able to give you feedback and advice based on your progress.
Use the organiser’s resources
Many organisers of challenge events will produce a whole host of resources for participants to help them with their training. Often this includes suggested training plans and dietary advice, so make sure to make the most of these.
Probably my most important tip is to have fun while you’re training. If you find you’re not enjoying it or you’re getting bored then seek out advice online or at your local gym to help you shake up your training plan and get back on course.