Preparing for a Fitness Event
Like any path we take, whether it be health, fitness, life, business; the actions/steps we implement along the journey, is key to HOW or IF we reach our desired GOAL. Following the reliable SMART process (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely) is a part of any solid plan. I also like to incorporate my own as well – Planning, preparation and implementing, when it comes to my specific fitness event goals.
Coach Kristen on The Pulse Radio 94.7 – Feb 2023 “Preparing for a fitness event”
Months before the event:
> PLANNING: write it down. Whether it be in a journal, note book, A3 page or on a white board, get it out of your head and down on paper so you can physically see it.
> LOOK INWARD: Why are you doing this? What is success to you? Each person has their own reasons and interpretation of success. What do you want to achieve out of this fitness event? Is it to do a Personal Best, to finish 1st or is completing the event an incredible feat for you? Everyone is different, don’t compare yourself to others, everyone is at a different stage of their journey and have different experiences. Do this for YOU.
> RESEARCH: knowledge is power. You need to understand the activity/ event that you are participating in. Look up the website, learn the specifics of previous and the upcoming event, and make sure to talk to the organisers and other participants of their experiences and event day details. Some key questions may include:
- What is required of you to complete it?
- Distance: how long is it?
- Elevations: is there inclines or declines along the way?
- Environment: is it rough, smooth, is there debris, obstacles, windy, temperature?
- Winning times: what scores or timings did previous winners achieve?
> PROGRAMS: Design a Fitness and Nutrition program. I’m guessing we are all not certified in fitness and nutrition… so the best bet is to get some support and guidance from a professional. A Personal Trainer and/or Fitness Coach is a great starting point. They will take you through all aspects of the required balanced training for your specific strength and fitness requirements. No matter what the sport is, both Resistance training (lean muscle mass) and Cardiovascular fitness (oxygen levels) is vital for your body to perform. And let’s not forget about scheduling in the necessary stretching and rest days to allow your body and mind to heal.
Nutrition is another vital aspect of preparation for an event. Consuming the correct food (fuel) and the correct time not only enables the body to be efficient in training but also replenishes the energy used and allows muscles to build and recover. As you increase training, you will need to increase your caloric/food intake (eating larger portions, plan healthy snacks throughout the day) to support your muscles and energy expenditure.
Your PT/ Coach can give you guidance with a well balanced diet of fruit and vegetables, legumes complex carbohydrates and lean proteins. But for optimal performance they will most likely will point you in the right direction for a sports nutritionist or dietitian, and will work well together as your support crew.
Also make sure to continue to keep hydrated! A drop in hydration levels of just 2 per cent can dramatically impact your performance. Always keep a water bottle with you and drink regularly throughout the training days.
> EQUIPMENT: The correct gear will also aid you in performing in the fitness event. Depending on the sport, this can get quite expensive so do your research on quality Vs price and read reviews and testimonials. There are also options to have specific equipment/ clothing for training purposes only as well as for the event day. If there is specific event day equipment, make sure to and wear-it-in/use it several weeks before.
– Shoes; the correct footwear will support your body from the ground up – literally! Your body stems from your feet, so supporting arches, enables knees, hips, back, shoulders, neck to be inline, causing less strain and potential injury.
– Underwear; yes comfy and supportive under garments are another essential piece. For females, a fitted, sports appropriate bra will not only keep your chest, back and shoulders supported and reduced from pain, but will also reduce on bounce and tearing of the breast tissue. For males, the correct fit athletic boxer briefs with long leg, reduces rashes and chaffing or alternatively a jockstrap also protects and supports.
A week or 2 from event day:
By now, from working with your PT / Fitness Coach and Nutritionist programming – your body should be in peak optimal form for your fitness event week. It is time now to reflect on your journey, your achievement, your battles and how far you have come physically and mentally from those many months ago. You should be proud and feeling grateful to yourself.
> ACTIVE REST / RECOVERY: Leading up to event day, it is important to allow more rest days/ slow active recovery activities. Walking, water walking, stretching, Yoga/Pilates.
> MASSAGE / BOWEN / OSTEO PHYSIO THERAPISTS: This therapy should be considered throughout the training process and incorporated into you programming. It will assist in muscle fatigue, strains, knotting, tension release to reduce possible injury. Also a relaxation massage is a great reward for you working soo hard!
> SLEEP: Nights of full 8 hours sleep
Event Day: HAVE FUN!
I’m soo excited for you to set yourself health and fitness journey. Whether its for a lifestyle change or for a specific fitness event planning, preparing and implementing changes to become a better version of you is AMAZING! If you need support in preparing for your fitness event, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Coach Kristen.
You are going to be fantastic!