Friday, July 29, 2011

Guest Post: 10 Tips For Participating In An Endurance Event

While I'm away hippie dancing my butt off at Floydfest, I asked Jess to stop by and write a post for my readers who have been missing my posts about running...since I've seriously been lacking in the running department lately. She's a fellow CLE blogger and marathon maniac who I truly admire because she is such an incredible athlete! It's so great to have the support of the blogging community, especially when we're all training for big races, and Jess's blog is always my first stop when I need some motivation to get moving! I hope you enjoy her tips for participating in an endurance event!
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  1. Start with the proper equipment, a good pair of running shoes. Go get fitted at your local running store! They are some of the nicest people and will fit you for what you need, not for what is the most expensive. You will also need proper clothing attire, something form fitting that also has a wicking material. Avoid cotton unless you want to chafe. Speaking of chafing, invest in some sort of anti chafing lube (BodyGlide or even Vaseline), throughout training you will learn where to put it.
  2. Prepare for all types of weather. In colder weather bring warm up clothes that you can throw away. I usually pick old race shirts and sweatshirts to use as my throwaways. If it is wet and rainy don’t be afraid to wear a garbage bag to keep warm and dry at the start. In hot weather run naked. j/k, run in light colored clothing and clothing that is light in weight.
  1. Test all fuel options ahead of time. I love Gu, specifically Vanilla Bean. However energy gels work differently for different people so test them all out. Same goes for Bloks, Chews and powerbars. Test your fueling options on your long runs to determine what works and what does not. Race day is not the time to try something new.
  2. Fuel with food properly. Everyone knows you need carbs before a long endurance event but you should really try and stick with whole grain carbs (whole grain pasta, brown rice, quinoa, etc). Also limit or avoid alcohol and dairy before a big event.
  1. Water! Don’t just drink water the morning of an event, start hydrating 2 days before an event. Before a long distance race, I will carry a water bottle around with me wherever I go.
  2. Practice your routine. 90% of the time you will be getting up super early for an endurance race. Practice getting up at that hour so that your body is used to it and to help make you less zombie like on race day.
  3. Get your Z’s.  Make sure you are getting enough sleep the weeks leading up to race day. Sleep allows the body to rejuvenate itself and to let your muscles rest and repair. The night before the event, get dinner a couple hours before bedtime and make time to relax. If you have trouble sleeping the night before a big event (I have this problem), don’t let it bother you. One night of less than perfect sleep will not hurt your performance.
  4. Layout all items you will need. Have your clothes, food, watch, bib and anything else you may need and lay them out so that you are not searching for them (or stressing when you can’t find it) in the morning.
  1. I.D. Yourself. Write your name, an emergency contact number and any allergies on the back of your bib or invest in Road I.D. You never know what could happen on a course and it is always better to be prepared.
  2. Have fun! You trained hard and worked for this. Remember to enjoy it and to celebrate your achievement!

Huge thanks to Becca for letting me guest post on her blog while she is away, I am so honored!
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