How to Prepare for a Competition

Simple Ways on How to Make Running a Habit That You Can Stick To

The following article is a guest post.

Confession: I’ve spent several nights watching (OK, obsessing) over inspiring videos promoting races and competitions.

There is The Spartan Race and Tough Mudder, various marathons, the Color Run, MMA meets, triathlons, 5K’s and more.

There’s something for everyone and training for one, either alone or as a team, can motivate you to keep up with workouts. Imagine yourself among the people, the excitement, the cheering, the sweat, finishing and feeling accomplished.

If this sounds like fun, what are you waiting for? Read on to get started.

Do Your Research

There are many events to choose from. Do your research to figure out which is best for you. Consider:

  • The Event

What type of competition are you looking for?

Do you want to run, go through an obstacle course, lift, or play a sport? Do you want to participate for a cause or just for fun?

Look up upcoming events in your area and pick one that excites you when you read about it.

  • Your Level

You know yourself best. Consider what you are capable of at the moment and be realistic in deciding what you can achieve before the event.

For example, it’s feasible to sign up for a 5K taking place in a month if you are a beginner runner, but will you be able to successfully train for a half-marathon in the same amount of time?

Push yourself outside your limits, but remember that doing too much too fast can result in injury like Plantar Fasciitis or the Runner’s Knee. Be wise in your choices!

  • Requirements/Eligibility

Some events require you to participate in smaller, similar events first. Don’t let that stop you. Work your way up to it!

  • Price

Some events can have a hefty price tag, reaching into the hundreds.

Think about how much you are willing to pay, as well as where the money is going.

For example, is it going to a charity, or to fund research on a specific topic? Portions of funds often go to pay for post-even snacks and drinks, t-shirts or other incentives.

Sign Up For It!

Dreaming and talking about a competition is not the same as actually signing up for it.

If you have your eye on one, secure a spot as fast as you can! Many events offer early-bird specials that you can take advantage of.

Once you sign up and pay for it, you have a real, concrete goal to work towards and no excuses not to train for it.

Even if you don’t feel prepared by race day, you should still go and participate. The bottom line is not to finish with the best time or top of your division. Just have fun, try something new, and push yourself a little bit!

Plan Your Training

Organize your training the same way you would plan for a large project. Think about:

  • The Requirements

What will the event consist of?

Will you have to run, lift, have good endurance, be strategic? Train and practice what you will have to do the day of the event.

  •  Weaknesses/strengths

Once you know what you have to do, consider your strengths and weaknesses.

What factors will you have to work on and what do you already have under your belt?

For example, you might have the endurance for an obstacle course, but do you have the upper body strength to get through some of the obstacles?

Also think about fears you’d need to overcome. If you’re scared of heights, climbing a ten foot wall might be something to focus on when training.

  • Timing

Make a timeline for training. List what you will work on each week before the competition, and then break it down even further into specific routines.

When it comes time to do them, forget the excuses and get your workouts done. Be realistic with your goals and plan for set backs too.

Remember to reassess your status every so often and make training adjustments as necessary.

  • Nutrition

Don’t forget that your diet is a big part of training, affecting your performance and results. Arduous training requires additional calories, and more water. Adjust your caloric needs and pay attention to how your body feels.

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