Preparing for a fitness challenge

It would seem that summer is filled with marathons, adventure challenges and other fitness feats, or at least the facebook news feeds would imply this much. So what should you do to prepare for your own challenge should you decide to take one on?

1. Find a challenge that is within reach. You can train for almost anything if you have the time, the perseverance and the motivation. You should however start with attainable goals. For example, if you haven’t run very much you may want to aim for a smaller run before you dive into a full marathon.

2. Train for what you are competing for. A runners body is very different from a weight lifter so ensure that you are training the right muscles. Although a full body workout is ideal, you may want to pay particular attention to specific exercises based on your desired outcome. Don’t spend all your time lifting weights if speed and agility are needed for your race.

3. Stay hydrated. This applies to any workout, training and/or challenge. You need to replenish those electrolytes and this is especially true during times of high exertion. Sports drinks may even come in handy (the one with the minerals not the ones that are pure sugar) depending on how hard you are training/competing.

4. Eat appropriately. This should be an every day rule but since ice cream, pizza and other temptations can sometimes get in the way, this should at least be something you are mindful of before and during the competition. Start eating smaller, quality meals 72-48 hours prior to competing. A heavy full stomach will not only slow you down, it can make you sick too.

5. Sleep.  Some people think that it is all about the training but the recovery and rest are just as important. You should definitely get a good sleep the night before you compete and preferably a few nights leading up to the competition. This doesn’t stop there, your body will need significant recovery after your feat so ensure you leave room for that too.

6. Stand Proud. Bruises, sweat, tears, laughs are all good signs. Remember to take the time to relish in your accomplishment. Finishing with a top score or time is great but just starting and training is an accomplishment in itself so don’t forgot to take a bow (or curtsy depending on how you roll).



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