Firing up for Race Day

Before any race it is important to prepare yourself both mentally and physically. I have always got butterflies in my stomach in the days leading up to a race, not for the running itself but for the logistical preparation that requires a bit of organisation, especially for an early morning race start.

Here are some of my tips to make the day go as smoothly as possible.

1. Fuel your body substantially.  In the days leading up to a race, we do need to increase our carb intake, as carbs are stored in our muscles and liver as glycogen which is the form of energy our body can access and use most easily. This doesn’t meaning having to stuff your face and overhaul your usual eating plan. Rather, focus on redistributing your calories by increasing your carbs, eating smaller amounts of protein and reducing your fat intake.  Check out my post on Hi and Low GI Carbohydrates for some ideas. Remember the morning of the race is not a good time to try out new breakfast ideas, be safe and stick to something you know will sit well with you!

2. Hydrate! It is important to stay well hydrated in the days leading up to your race, to prevent dehydration and improve perfromance. Not convinced? Check out this article from Runners World. If you find normal water boring, try adding fresh citrus fruit such as lemon, lime or orange slices to your water 😉

3. Prepare EVERYTHING the night before. Layout your clothes, socks, shoes, underwear, running bib, safety pins, old jumper (often throw it to the side just before the start of the race), Ipod, watch etc. Make sure any tech stuff is fully charged.

4. Set 2 alarms! Often waking up for a Sunday run at 4am can feel like it is part of a dream, so be safe and set 2 alarms 🙂

5. Workout logistics. Often roads are closed and parking is restricted so I always try and use public transport on the day which is often free *bonus*. If you are meeting people after the race, make a meeting spot as for big races the crowds are usually quite big.

6. Mentally prepare yourself. Accept the training you have done, be confident in your physical and mental strength and forgive yourself if you are regretting not have done more.

Check out my last half-marathon race recap for some more race day info.. and remember to just enjoy the day. Soak up the atmosphere, smile at the spectators and thank the volunteers 🙂

What is your next race?
What does your prerace meal look like?
What is your top tip for running a race?

*Please note, I am not a dietician or fitness expert, I have simply fallen in love with running and these tips are based on my personal experiences and research. If you have a query, comment or suggestion please feel free to leave it below.

Good luck to all those running the City2Surf in Sydney this Sunday!

Running outdoors

Sundays are by far my favourite day of the week. It is the day I spend by the water, outdoors and it is usually the day I have my long run for the week (Check out my Running a Race training page).

The weather was amazing this weekend and I headed out for my 8km run bright and early. My knees started giving me a few aches and pains towards the end of the run, so the last 2 kms I took pretty easy, alternating between walking and slow jogging.

I ran from Bondi beach to Clovelly, which is a small, quaint beach that is great for snorkelling. It is also where my lovely cousins live, so I popped in to say hi.

This boardwalk is fairly new and I love the feeling of running on it, it feels like you have springs in your step.

Along the way I past the local bowling green, not a bad view to play bowls ay?

I stopped for quite a few drink breaks 

And photo breaks

And arrived back in Bondi where alot was going on.  There were heaps of surfers out, seagulls taking over the rocks and

a temporary ice-rink set up.  I’ve never been much of an ice skater as from a young age I always feared my fingers getting chopped off by other skaters.  So I was quite content to just look on :).

The rest of the day was spent having lunch, reading my book in the sun and chilling on the couch.  

How was your weekend? What training did you get up to?

Please remember to check out my Breast Cancer fun run/walk page! Remember it is FUN- there are no timers, no rules and you can take it as easy as you like! I need to know numbers for the Breakfast so please RSVP by using the Contact Me page.

Tips to make your morning better

I have always been a morning person, and today reaffirmed how much better the day is when it starts off relaxed and stress-free.

I arrived at work 45 minutes early. Yes, slightly misjudged how quick public transport takes. I went to a cafe, got a pot of tea and read my Kindle. Perfect start to the day.

Here are my tips for enjoying the morning:

Get prepared the night before.  Lay out your clothes and pack your bag.

Set your alarm nice and early. I like to give myself at least an hour before I have to leave my house. This gives me a chance to chill in bed for a while, watch the Today show, blog, check Facebook, pack my lunch…

Give yourself time to enjoy a nice breakfast. I wake up ready and excited to break-the-fast. I love to sit down, eat my breakfast (Check out my breakfast ideas!) and have (at least) 2 cups of tea.

If I have scheduled in a workout for the morning here are my additional tips to get yourself out of bed

Mentally prepare yourself the night before.  If you have not visualised your workout and planned what you intend to do, it is always much easier to cop out.

Imagine how you will feel after your workout. Surely better? Most people don’t regret a good workout.

Make sure you are doing something you enjoy.  If running is not your thing it is no point trying to force yourself into it (especially when you are dragging yourself out of bed for it!). Try a brisk walk around the block or else check out what classes are available at your local gym. I know my gym, Macquarie University Sport and Aquatic Center have classes suitable for all fitness levels and preferences, ranging from Yoga to Body Attack to Aqua Aerobics. I am a big group fitness fan :). Another great morning option is Circuit Training -where you can build your own workout, tailored to your preferences in the comfort of your own home.

And if all these tips fail.. remember the hardest part of running is taking the first step out the door (and then climbing stairs ;)).

But once you have stepped out the front door, climbed the stairs and achieved your morning goal.. your heart is pumping, your mood is elevated and I guarentee you will feel better than you did before you began.

What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?

Circuit training for all

I spent the day today as Miss R, the sport teacher. My motto for the day

My day was eye-opening, fun, exhausting and full of on-going activity. One thing I learned – that circuit training is the bomb! It involves setting up different stations, each with a different activity which works on a specific skill, muscle group or aerobic activity.

Why I ❤ Circuit Training 

1) Circuit training is great at any age and for any fitness level.

2) It can help increase strength and aerobic fitness; improve and extend skills in different areas.

2) Perfect for those with a short attention span.. Every few minutes you are doing something new, working a different part of your body and setting yourself a new challenge.

3) Easy to adapt to individual fitness and skills levels. 

4) Can be executed with little or no equipment at all. Think pushups, planks, star jumps, burpees… the list goes on.

5) Circuits can be FUN! After all I have a no smile, no play policy…
So if you are looking for a way to boost your activity levels in the comfort of your own home, why not set up a circuit? 

The most refreshing part of my day today was seeing the students
🙂 Willingly participate
🙂 Challenge themselves and
🙂 LOVE every minute of being outdoors and being active

So my question to you is when does it all change?
When and WHY does exercise become a burden for so many of us? 

On the topic of being active, my day ended with an amazing spin class with my sis…

So I conclude by saying circuits are good, but if it’s not for you then try spin 🙂

*Please not: I am a teacher – not a personal trainer, these are my thoughts based on my own personal experiences as a sport-teacher-for-a-day and as a fitness enthusiast 🙂 Feel free to leave me a comment with any of your added thoughts!

My Training Plan for Running a Race

Good Morning, friends!

Entering and running in races are a great way to up your training regime, set goals and test your determination and motivation.

For us Sydney siders, the Annual City2 Surf race is just around the corner (August 12th).  It is a beautiful 14km course from City CBD to Bondi Beach, and it is open to all who enter!

Start in the CBD
End at Bondi Beach

It is one of those races where people from all walks of life, with differing abilities (and even disabilities) join together to run and enjoy Sydney. It welcomes the most elite of athletes to walkers, joggers and mums with prams.   Last year my Dad and I ran it and we both loved it (this year we welcome Josh to our team 🙂 ).

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So, if you live in Sydney or intend to holiday here in the coming months be sure to enter!

I thought today would be a good day to set some training goals for the race. Last year I completed the race in in 74 minutes. So this year I would love to see myself break  70 minutes (5 mins/km). This means I need to push myself and work on my speed.

My training regime is usually very flexible but I always try to include the same components:

1) Leisurely Runs – Usually about 30 minutes or 5/6 kms
2) Cross Training – Some sort of group fitness class; Body Attack, Step, Cycle or Dance
3) Long Run –  I try to  include 1 long run a week, and this is usually on a Sunday (I increase the distance as I approach the race, and then taper in the week leading up to the race).
4) Resistance Training – Either I do this in weight section at the gym or I take a Body Pump class.
5) Rest days– On these days I ideally like to focus on stretching, meditation and relaxation.

If you have trouble sticking to your exercise goals, check out this post on ‘How to make a date with exercise and stick with it’.

Well that’s all from me today.  Enjoy the sunshine and don’t forget to leave me a comment to let me know:

What race is happening in your city and how do you go about training?
Or
Will you be joining me in running (or walking) the City2Surf?

Happy moving peeps!

** Please note I am not a personal trainer; this is my training regime based on my own experiences and training preferences.