Whether you’re training for The Sunday Mail Bridge to Brisbane Day for the first time, or you’re a fun-run veteran, planning will be essential in making sure you reach the finish line feeling healthy and happy. In the lead-up to the big day, it’s important to get organised by outlining your goals for the run, setting a training routine, and considering what food you need to fuel your body.
Goal setting for success
Everyone takes part in an event like Bridge to Brisbane Day for their own reasons. Some want to beat last year’s PB, others want to improve their fitness, and most are keen to raise some money for a good cause. Thinking S.M.A.R.T can help you set healthy goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.
The first key to goal setting is specificity – the more specific you are about what you want to achieve, the clearer you can be about what you need to do to get there. For example, you might set your goal this year to run the entire 5km course without stopping or walking.
Then, you want to make sure your goal is measurable. A goal like “run further” doesn’t give you a measurable outcome to tick off your list, whereas you’ll know you’ve achieved your goal of running 5km when you cross the finish line. You might break this goal down into smaller measurements, starting off aiming to run 2km by the end of the month, then build up your mini-goals over time.
Goals need to be achievable to be motivating. If you know deep down that you won’t be able to reach your goal, you won’t push yourself to get there. Think carefully when setting your goals and timelines, making sure you’re not setting yourself up for failure.
At the same time, be realistic about your goals. Take into account your current circumstances and whether you’re set up for success. If you’re going to need to train for an hour every day to build up to running 5km, but you’ve only got weekends spare, you might need to rethink how realistic your goal is.
Finally, every goal needs to have a timeline for when you plan to achieve it. Bridge to Brisbane Day is great for this, because once you’ve registered, you know that 27 August is the day!
Getting ready to run
Training is an important part of running in an event like Bridge to Brisbane Day. If you’re on the couch one day and running 10km the next, you might find yourself injury prone and not quite as fit as you thought.
The Healthier. Happier. 8 week training guide is designed to prepare both first timers and experienced walkers/runners for Bridge to Brisbane Day. There are three suggested training sessions each week (although you can swap or add sessions if you’re feeling up to it), with distances gradually increasing to help you complete your chosen course comfortably.
If you have any health concerns or injuries, seek advice from an appropriately qualified professional such as a GP or an Accredited Exercise Physiologist.
Food and drink to fuel your run
While physical training is important in the lead up to Bridge to Brisbane Day, the fuel you put in your body will also have an effect on how well you perform on the day.
Meal planning can help you eat healthier, shop smarter and curb bad eating habits. When you’re ramping up your exercise routine, it’s important to think ahead about what you’re going to eat and when, so that you’re giving your body enough energy to sustain your training. Having plenty of healthy food in the fridge and pantry can also stop you from reaching for unhealthy snacks when you get peckish after a run.
This Weekly Meal & Exercise Planner template can help you plan what you’ll be eating each week and when you’ll be strapping on your runners, with reminders about your weekly movement and nutrition goals.
Hydration is really important when you exercise, especially in Brisbane’s warm climate. You need to drink more water when you’re exercising to make up for water lost through sweat and exhalation. Plain water is optimal for re-hydrating after a workout: you don’t need sports drinks unless you’ve been doing over 60 minutes of hard exercise.
Being organised is essential!
With good planning and motivating goals, you’ll be set to have an incredible Bridge to Brisbane Day, and keep up your healthy lifestyle after you’ve crossed the finish line.
How are you preparing for Bridge to Brisbane Day? Let us know in the comments below or share your snaps with us using the hashtag #bridge2brisbane!
Don’t forget to check out the Healthier. Happier. Training Guide in The Sunday Mail each week in the lead-up to race day.