Your Peak2Park Training Tips

Your Peak2Park Training Tips

Toowoomba’s Peak2Park is only weeks away and we couldn’t be more excited! It’s a great way to get active, step up to your fitness goals, meet new people and raise money for local charities. Many of us competing will be increasing their training distances this week, so we thought we’d share some last minute training tips to see you through to the big day on Sunday March 4th, 2018.

1. Mix up your workouts

We understand. Running or walking for long distances isn’t everyone’s cup of tea – and that’s perfectly okay. If you’re feeling a bit bored with your regular routine, why not mix it up? Go for a bike ride, a swim, a zumba session – anything that gets the heart rate up and the blood pumping! While you don’t want to start adding new super-intense exercise (like lifting heavy weights if you’ve never lifted weights before) to you regime this close to the big day, any exercise of similar intensity is going to do good for your cardiovascular fitness and stamina. We know this is a challenge for many people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try to make it fun along the way!

2. Warm up every time!

While we all know that we need to warm up before exercise, many of us don’t know exactly all of the benefits. There’s a lot more to it than just getting the body warm! A good warm-up gets the blood flowing to the muscles, joints and tendons which helps increase their resilience to loads and impact forces. This means your risk of injury is decreased as you can push further without damaging muscles and tissues. It also primes your central nervous system to improve your motor skills, balance, coordination and force output, so you can truly give this your all!

Have a warm to hot shower first thing in the morning, and make sure you arrive early to get a good warm-up in. Make sure to include some high knee kicks, bum kicks, lunges and toe touches before moving on to a brisk walk, 5-minute easy run and some 10-second bursts at a higher pace.

3. Change up your tempo

If you’ve become used to walking or running at a certain speed and it’s feeling pretty comfortable, that’s when you know it’s time to change it up. Start off by adding one minute at a slightly higher pace for every 2 minutes at your regular pace and see how that feels. Then try pushing it to 30 seconds at a significantly higher pace for every 90 seconds at your regular pace. This helps not only your body but also your mind adapt to the varied surfaces you’re going to be on with greater ease, so you won’t be thrown off as easily by difficult or unexpected patches.

Another fun way to do this is to get some upbeat music with variable tempos and match your walk or run to the tempo! There are free apps available that actually match your pace to a song, so you could give those a go too!

4. Add in some strength training

As we mentioned earlier, you don’t want to be going overboard with this so close to the race. But doing some light strength work a few weeks out won’t hurt either, in fact, it may do just the opposite. Don’t worry, we’re not talking about going to the gym if you’re not already a member. There are plenty of at-home activities where you’re working against your own body weight and gravity. Squatting, lunging and push-ups are just a few examples. If you’re a parent to a young child, turn it into a game every morning and try some squats holding your little one – it might even beat a gym membership!

5. Don’t start training in brand new gear right now

If you thought that waiting until the week before the event was the best time to buy new joggers for race day, please don’t. Even if you’re getting another pair of the same joggers you already wear, it will still take time to wear them in, and they’ll be a lot firmer than your current pair. If you wear new joggers on race day, you’re putting yourself at significant risk of getting sore, achy feet from rubbing, blisters, and other issues to do with the new way the shoes will be holding your feet and legs.

With any new shoes, you want to take the time to wear them in, start out slow and gradually increase the pace (and not do 10km’s on day one).

6. Train your mind

This might seem like an odd tip given the physical nature of the event, but we guarantee that there is a significant mental component in partaking in any event like this. Things come up on the day – the weather may be worse than you expected or trained in, you notice a new twinge in your knee, you’re not going as fast as you’d hoped. Whatever happens, your mind can have a massive impact on the day.

Just like feeding your body with good nutrition, feed your mind with positive affirmations instead of doubts about whether you’ll finish or if you’re going to develop an injury along the way. Remind yourself how strong you are, why you’re doing this, and how you’re going to look back on this as a positive experience and a great achievement. Visualise yourself with your friends and family after you’ve completed the event. Importantly, don’t forget to smile and enjoy the moment!

7. Get plenty of rest

You’ve been working hard, and in the last few days leading up to the event, you’re going to need plenty of sleep to maximise your recovery. While sleep is often thought of as giving back energy to our hectic lives, our body and our muscles go through some massive changes while we sleep – especially when it comes to healing and repairing damage. Even if you’re not injured, every workout you do, even if it’s light, will be resulting is small micro-tears through our muscles and tissues. Don’t worry, it’s normal and has been happening all your life! These are repaired as we sleep, and we get back to full capacity and fill our energy tanks. Our body also works to fight off any sickness and disease, which a lack of sleep can leave us vulnerable to. So make sure in the nights leading up to the event (not just the night immediately before) that you take care of yourself with plenty of sleep and rest.

8. Stick to your own goals, not those of others

You’ve trained at your own pace to your own goals. So stick to them and avoid mixing them up last minute! If your friends have different paces to you, whether it be faster or slower (but especially faster), don’t feel like you have to stay at their pace when it’s well above what you’ve trained for and not a pace that you’ll be able to sustain. This is how many people go too hard too fast and burn out, throwing out their plan and training regime on the day. It’s a bit of a mental challenge too – you’ve had a different amount of available time to prepare, a different exercise history, and different goals than the people beside you on the starting line. So please don’t compare yourself to others and do this for you to reach your goals, and not those of others around you.

9. Stick to your regular brekkie

Having the same breakfast on the morning of the event as you have been leading up to the event on training days is the best start. We’ve all heard (if not have done so ourselves) of people carbo-loading for an event. If you’ve usually been having a steady breakfast of granola, please don’t eat two bowls of pasta on the morning of the event in the hopes that it will give you a crazy energy boost. Chances are, it will just make you feel full and sluggish. Some competitive athletes increase their carbohydrate intake in a controlled manner in the days leading up to an event, but we can almost guarantee you’ll be better off sticking to the good habits you’ve already developed and that your body is used to. There will be plenty of time for lots of carbs after the event!

10. Don’t ignore niggles or minor pains

Often, a little niggle or minor pain is our body’s way of letting us know that something isn’t working quite right and damage is starting to build up. If this isn’t addressed, it can turn into something much more painful and difficult to treat.

Our expert podiatry team here at The Podiatrist can assess what’s going on and causing the pain, and nip it in the bud before any significant damage occurs or it gets worse. We specialise in sports medicine, injuries and getting our patients ready for events such as this! With our world-class diagnostic technology and our highly-skilled team, we’ll have you ready and at your best for race day!

  • To book an appointment, you can give us a call on 07 4638 3022 or book online. Oh and one last thing – don’t forget to have fun and enjoy every minute of it!
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