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How to prepare for a running event

You’ve signed up to your first running event, now what? For many people, the desire to cross over that finishing line is more about the personal challenge than anything else. Whatever your reason, remind yourself of it often during the months of training that follow because your legs will become tired, the weather (especially in the UK) can be nasty and maintaining your motivation will be essential in keeping you on track

If you are lacing up for the very first time or this is your first-ever running competition, then read on to find out how you can ensure your training goes as smoothly and as painlessly as possible.

  1. Visit the doctors

Before you begin any training, we recommend you pay your doctor a visit for a good once over. Taking your medical history into account, they will be able to offer you tailored advice on how best to prepare and how much you will be able to exert yourself.

Stethoscope

  1. Footwear

Having the right footwear (and socks) is essential! The shoes should be relatively lightweight, providing good support. There are several specialist footwear stalls across the UK who can also measure your feet to ensure you pick the perfect fitting trainer. Do test them out before the race as well by running on a couple of different occasions and in various conditions. If your shoes bother you on these ‘tests’ then get yourself another pair.

  1. Start slow

A great starting point, especially if you are new to running, is to spend 30 minutes walking or jogging, four times for the first week. This will help you identify the right pace, clothing, breathing techniques and preferred time of day to practice.

  1. Sleep

For training sessions that are full of energy and enthusiasm aim to get the recommended six to eight hours of sleep each night while training. As the race day gets nearer, focus on being well-rested because having sleepless nights can make you feel lethargic.

sleep

  1. Use apps

There are hundreds of apps that can help you keep motivated and inspired when training. Runner’s World have rounded up their favourites from the past couple of years across several categories, highlighting what makes them unique.

  1. Eat and drink well

When training you need to eat the right types of foods. A balance of unprocessed, unrefined carbohydrate-rich foods, protein and healthy fats will help strengthen the immune system, keeping your muscles healthy and helping you to recover and maintain sufficient energy levels. Ensure you eat approximately two hours before a run to allow your body to digest and then try to eat immediately after your run to optimise recovery.

And keep hydrated at all times!

water-drink

  1. Change the scenery

To keep yourself motivated mix up the routes for a change of scenery and to experience different surfaces.

  1. Practice the route

If you are able to run parts of the route do so, to familiarise yourself with it and identify parts where you need to push yourself harder or can relax a little.

  1. Recovery

The second you cross the finish line of your competition, don’t stop! The best thing you can do is keep moving – not matter how slow. Change into clean, dry clothes and different, comfortable shoes and apply a good amount of Pernaton Gel Forte to those sore muscles.

Eat something pretty quickly after stopping the race and as soon as you are back home, have a bath (ice or hot) to relax those aching muscles.

Finally massage and stretch. Some races offer a quick-post massage, which can help but we would highly recommend treating yourself to a proper sports massage as soon as possible. And stretch as much as you can for as long as you can.

For more information about how Pernaton Gel Forte can help keep your running on track, read Wayne’s story here.

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