From easy, family-friendly routes and runs for a cause to intense vertical challenges and ultramarathon build-ups, Dubai Fitness Challenge has stepped up its calendar with a variety of community races. Perhaps you’re prepping the kids to join along one of the Cigna Park Runs in the city or are working hard to compete in the gruelling Wadi Bih Run in Hatta. Keep these tips in mind before you lace up your trainers for 30×30 activities.
Up your water intake
Although staying hydrated seems like a given, many people are guilty of not drinking enough water on a day-to-day basis. Apart from keeping water handy during your run with hydration packs, increase your water consumption a few days in advance of race day. Also, be sure to take a few gulps 30 minutes prior to setting off. The more intense the race, the more essential it is to hydrate.
Ease out junk food
As with all fitness-centric endeavours, eating healthy can positively influence your race prep. You don’t have to go overboard; instead of changing your meal plan or cutting out carbs, avoid processed foods that contain excess sodium and sugar, and choose more whole food options. Don’t miss out on a nutritious bite before the whistle goes off. A bowl of oatmeal with bananas, for example, makes for a great pre-run snack.
Don’t train tough every day
For all those slugging it out on the tracks and at the gym in preparation for an ultramarathon, cut yourself some slack. While your enthusiasm is admirable, don’t over-exert yourself. Switch up your fitness routine to ensure you’re not always exercising with the same intensity. Recovery days are required too, so follow a rigorous workout day with a day of jogging or light cross-training.
Find a running buddy
On the flip side, if you struggle to stay motivated and keep up with regular practice sessions, go jogging with a friend or join one of the many social running groups in Dubai, like Dubai Creek Striders. This way, you’ll have company and more accountability to reach your goals. It’ll also allow you to exchange tips and connect with others in the community over shared interests.
Take it easy the day before
You’ve trained well, eaten right and kept hydrated – the big day is almost here and it’s time for you to rest. Conserve your energy and relax your mind; while a 20-minute jog could do you good, keep off your toes for the most part. Shun negative thoughts and instead, envision success. Have your kit ready so you’re all set to head out and focus on the run.
Stay race-day smart
Your run is soon to start. Here’s your checklist of dos and don’ts: dress appropriately, wear comfortable, race-worthy trainers and make sure you’ve got everything you need for the race and after. Arrive early so you can prepare mentally, and avoid drinking too much water or eating a big meal before setting off. Once the race is on, start at a slow, steady pace, and save your energy for the final leg.
Stretch past the finish line
If you’re not used to racing regularly, you’ll probably have the urge to stop moving and even lie down right after you’ve stepped over the finish line. You’re not quite done with the workout of the day, though – not until you’ve stretched out your arms, legs and back. This is important to do, as it decreases the risk of muscle strain and injury.
Ready to run? Sign up for one of the many races during the Dubai Fitness Challenge.