Let’s face it – Winter is the easiest time to make an excuse to not exercise. Simply having a goal to strive for will help you to remain motivated and focused. If you’re looking for a way to stay in shape and remain motivated, why not consider a fun-run! Fun-runs are a fantastic experience to train for and participate in – so why not consider training for one this year?
Fun-runs vary in length from 4km to 21km half marathons. Many of these events are used to help support worthy charities and foundations. You will find people of all ages and genders participating in these charitable runs, and it is an excellent way to meet others who share similar physical fitness goals.
To get the most out of a fun-run in terms of health, fitness and self-fulfillment, you should follow a structured plan to prepare properly for the event. Here are some steps that you can employ in order to get ready for your run:
- Consult with a physician – The purpose of your fun run is to participate in an activity that will provide you with healthy aerobic exercise, as well as giving you the opportunity to interact with different people who share similar fitness goals. However, it is important to exercise safely and within your personal limits, so it is recommended that you consult with a physician before undertaking this type of physical activity.
- Have a training plan – If you've never done a run before, then you need to start out gradually. Begin by walking or running a distance that you’re comfortable with. The key is to gradually increase the distance you cover as your fitness improves. If you challenge yourself each training session, you should experience incremental improvements which will snowball over the weeks of training.
It’s a good idea to set goals along the way. Consider how much time you have before the date of the event and adjust your training goals accordingly.
With respect to your training frequency, ideally four to six days a week of training is recommended. This may vary based on other commitments and also your level of fitness.
If you’re looking for individualised advice, consult with your personal trainer.
- Warm Up – Because jogging and running is such a high-impact activity, you need to ensure that your muscles and connective tissues are warm and flexible to absorb the shock as your feet hit the pavement. Warming up prior to each training session will ensure that you minimise the risk of injury.
- Be consistent – Consistency with your preparation is vital! Your fitness will improve gradually after each training session, and you must train again shortly after in order to take advantage of this improvement. Schedule your training at a time most suitable for your lifestyle to encourage sustainability.
- Wear appropriate clothing – Train in the same shoes you expect to wear on the run and wear comfortable clothing.
- Remain hydrated at all times –Drink prior to your training. Take a drink bottle with you filled with water or a sports drink to maintain healthy hydration levels.
- Remain fueled – Consume sufficient carbohydrates and protein prior to your training. For longer runs, it’s important to have a sports drink to ensure adequate carbohydrate intake during your training. A post-workout shake of protein and carbohydrate should be consumed when completed to replenish lost energy stores.
- Eat properly – Be sure to eat a balanced diet featuring fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and lean protein.
- Allow for rest periods in between training sessions – Rest is important to keep your body functioning at its best.
- Listen to your body – If your body is telling you to stop or slow down, listen to it!
- Stretch following your training session – In order to avoid injury and recover effectively it is important to stretch following each exercise session.
With an effective training plan in place, you’ll be well on your way to an enjoyable and self-fulfilling fun-run this year. Not only will you be in better shape, you’ll also have the opportunity to support charitable organizations and help others. Good luck!