You’re ready to discover the Wild Within You, and now you need to know how to prepare and stay motivated. The following information is designed to guide you to success!
Participating in a Wild Within You fitness adventure will require various levels of fitness, depending on what event you wish to participate in. If you’re interested in participating in a 5k, what is your goal? Is it to finish or to finish fast? Simply to finish, you may show up having never run a mile in your life. To finish fast, however, will require a minimum of four weeks of training for 5k events. To be even more prepared, eight weeks of training is recommended.
If you’re new to running, you should gradually ease into running. Start out by jogging 20 or 30 minutes, three times a week. Take a pace that is comfortable. Even doing a walk/jog pattern is great for getting started. Listen to your body. Instinct tells you everything you need to know about your fitness progress.
Be sure to space out your training days throughout the week to give yourself a chance to rest and recover between efforts. Don't worry about how fast you run. Running faster can wait until you are stronger and your body is fitter. Focus on gradually increasing the time you run.
If you come from a road running background, learn to leave your road running calculations at home. You will quickly learn to re-adjust your expectations from the road to the trail.
As distances of events increase, so should your preparedness. If you sign up for a 25k trail run and show up the day of the event with a cold or have not trained properly, you will not enjoy your day. The trails are ruthless and unforgiving.
Ultimately, be prepared to have the utmost fun with your adventure!
The week before:
Eat Plenty of Carbohydrates
You should eat good quality carbs in the days leading up to your race. Sweet potatoes, whole grain breads, oatmeal, fresh fruit, all the different colors of vegetables, beans, wild rice and lentils are all excellent examples of quality carbohydrates. Don't stuff yourself at dinner the night before. Carbo-loading does not mean that you should eat three plates of pasta for dinner. As many runners like to say, "Too much 'loading' can lead to 'unloading' during the race." Eat normal serving sizes of food that you normally eat.
Avoid Any Unusual Foods
Stick with foods that have worked well for you during your training. Don't try any new foods during the adventure that you have not used before.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day for the entire week before the adventure. During the adventure, pay attention to your body and what it is telling you about thirst. Many people can easily make it through a 5k with no intake of water. Others need that aid station at the half way point. On longer adventures, by the time you recognize the body's signal for thirst, you are already on the way toward dehydration. On the other hand, there is a delicate balance between being properly hydrated and overhydrated. Hyponatremia (overhydration) can happen when the balance of water and electrolytes is disrupted. Training in a variety of weather conditions helps you learn how much water is necessary for your body. Here are two good articles to read to help you learn more about proper hydration during a fitness adventure: http://trailrunnermag.com/health/hydration
Don't Overdo It
Rest and relax as much as you can the five to six days before your adventure. You will show up race day feeling full of energy and ready to reach your goals.
Use visualization techniques while you're relaxing during the day. Envision yourself on the course. Envision yourself having fun during the adventure. Envision how good it will feel to accomplish a personal challenge. Think positively about all the work you've put into your training.
sponsored by Lyle J. Noordhoek, MD PA