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How Weekend Warriors Should Prepare for an Endurance Race

Posted by Douglas W. Stoddard MD, M Sp Med, Dip Sport Med, ES on 6 March 2018
How Weekend Warriors Should Prepare for an Endurance Race

It's nearly the end of winter, meaning endurance athletes can finally say goodbye to treadmills and aerodyne bikes, and hello to the great outdoors.

Regardless of whether you're a recreational athlete or an elite one, the stress placed on your body by endurance running still necessitates pinpoint preparation in order to perform optimally and avoid injuries.

For all you weekend warriors out there, we've outlined key tips on endurance training to get you ready for long and demanding races.

Practice by Playing

A consistent practice schedule is fantastic, but a real race can't be replicated.

By entering a "trial race" as early as possible, you'll be forced to adjust to the mental demands of real competition. When you practice, one tends to hold back instinctively as somewhat of a survival mechanism. Comparatively, event days tend to elevate your performance due to a combination of adrenaline and a spike in your competitive juices.

Note that racing too many times will wear you out, but competing eight weeks before your targeted event will have you peaking when it counts, while offering ample recovery time.

Bi and Triathletes Should Compartmentalize

If you compete in a multi-disciplined endurance sport such as the triathlon you need to give a little TLC to each event, applying the same principles in the above paragraph.

Whether it's a 5km race or a 400m swim, don't be afraid to take chances to find out what works. The end result doesn't matter since these aren't your big race. Instead, they provide a chance to fine tune the tactics in respective segmented disciplines within a bi or triathlon.

You should break down each single-event race into mental quarters:

  • Q1 - Think about starting speed and keeping pace with other racers
  • Q2 - Focus on maintaining your rhythm and form
  • Q3 - Persevere through 'hitting the wall'
  • Q4 - Finish strong and manage discomfort

What You Wear Does Count

Equipment doesn't make the athlete, but every advantage or disadvantage can make a difference.

For instance, do not buy a pair of new shoes the night before a racethat's a surefire path to a foot full of blisters. You want to field test new gear during training, so that it either enhances your performance, or at the very least, doesn't hamper it.

You'll Crap Out with a Bad Diet

Endurance races can be won or lost in the kitchen. Not only will the wrong meal plan cause your body to give out halfway through your big race, but it could also lead to a frantic case of the runner's trots (re: runner's diarrhea).

The stress of long distance running, combined with poor dietary choices, has left many endurance runners sprinting for the outhouse instead of the finish line. 

Efficiently hydrating, limiting fibrous foods, and avoiding artificial sweeteners are all preventative measures that limit the risk of the trots come race day.

If you're training for an endurance sport, you may need more than a blog to prepare you for race day.

SEMI's team of doctors, therapists, and personal trainers have the expertise and experience in helping endurance athletes reach their peak at the right time and in the right place.

Join our personal trainers in our modern studio settings, and take advantage of the private environment, so you can focus entirely on your exercises zero distractions. Call us at 1-855-572-9177, or book an appointment online today!

Author: Douglas W. Stoddard MD, M Sp Med, Dip Sport Med, ES
About: Dr. Douglas Stoddard is a sports medicine physician and is the Medical Director of the Sports & Exercise Medicine Institute (SEMI). After receiving his medical degree from the University of Toronto, he trained in Australia at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, obtaining his Master Degree in Sports Medicine. He is also a diplomat of the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine and has his focussed practice designation in Sport Medicine from the Ontario Medical Association. Dr. Stoddard is a consultant to the Canadian Military and has consulted with well over 30,000 unique patients in his career. Dr. Stoddard is constantly searching for new and promising therapies to help SEMI patients, and is responsible for developing the RegenerVate Medical Injection Therapy Program. He is married and the proud father of two boys, is an avid triathlete and occasional guitar player.
Tags: Performance


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