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Five Tips For Calming Race Day Nerves

With less than three weeks of training left until race day, we sat down with elite athlete and osteopath, Steve Dinneen, to get his top tips for calming nerves when your foot hits the start line on August 27.

“A bit of nervous energy is good, so when you get nerves on race day, remember to use then in a positive way to improve your performance, not hinder it. Mindset is the key.”

Have a race plan – ask yourself, how do you intend on running the race?

Are you planning on starting out slow and working your way into the race, or do you intend on going out faster and seeing if you can hang on to the finish line? Will you run at a particular pace or feel, are you running with a friend/s, with a pack or solo? Going into the race with a strategy can help with calming nerves as you have a plan to focus on.

Self-belief – think positive

If you have done the training, the race is about putting the hard work into action. Those early morning runs or weekend training sessions have led you to this moment. Look forward to the finish line and testing yourself out along the way – there are people out there who would give anything to run. Be inspired by yourself and those around you who are getting out there to tackle the course.

Breathe

Take a moment on the way to the race, or before the start of the race, to find that relaxed and centred place in your mind.

Be organised and prepared

Get to the race early and be prepared for potential issues like traffic, toilets lines, getting to the start line, public transport or parking if driving. You might want to bring an old t-shirt to wear if it is cold that you can throw it off before the race starts. Have a $10 or $20 note in your shorts pocket in case you need money for something unexpected like a drink. Trying to stay relaxed and not get nervous when you are running late for a race is almost impossible. So think ahead.

Once the gun goes, so do all of those nerves!

Use them to work for you – know that nerves are a pre-race thing and once the race starts, the atmosphere, amazing views of Brisbane from the Story Bridge and endorphins will keep you Running Happy and nerve-free.

Good luck!

Steve Dinneen is a Brooks Running sponsored athlete, elite middle and long distance runner and coach. He works professionally as an osteopath and has worked in the health and fitness industry for over 15 years.

This blog was contributed by our friends at Brooks Running.

Got any other suggestions on calming nerves before a big race? Let us know in the comments below. 

Yet to enter Bridge to Brisbane Day? It’s not too late – but hurry, last year’s event SOLD OUT! Get your runners on and enter NOW. 

Don’t forget to share your training snaps by using the hashtags #bridge2brisbane and #BestTimeBNE!

 

 

What To Eat While Training

Building a healthy exercise habit is not just about learning good technique and buying a pair of well-fitting sneakers. What you eat and drink will have a big impact on the efficiency of your training sessions, your recovery and your ability to perform to your potential in any races or fun runs you enter. As we draw closer and closer to Bridge to Brisbane Day, find out what to eat while training, and how to prep for and recover from race day.

The building blocks

When deciding what to eat while training, the best place to start is with your everyday eating and drinking habits. Grabbing a healthy snack pre-run won’t make a huge difference if the rest of your diet is made up of junk, or you’re skipping food altogether.

Try to get into a pattern with your eating that includes three meals a day and may be supplemented by some healthy snacks. The five building blocks of food will give you an idea of the different food groups and how much of everything you should be eating each day. The Healthier. Happier. recipe collections are a great place to look for healthy meal and snack ideas.

Carbohydrates are a very important part of a runner’s diet. Think about carbohydrates like the petrol needed to fuel a car. Without fuel, a car won’t run, and without carbs, you won’t run well, either.

Carbohydrates provide the fuel your body requires to support your day-to-day activities. If you don’t eat enough carbs, you might feel fatigued and unable to train effectively.

Good quality carbohydrates can be found in foods like:

  • Wholegrain, light rye or sourdough bread
  • Fruit
  • Untoasted muesli
  • Oats
  • Wholegrain pasta
  • Basmati rice
  • Legumes.

Eating carbohydrates before you train will help fuel your exercise. Then, eating more after you run will help your body refuel, replacing the energy you’ve used while exercising.

Before you train

Everyone feels differently about eating before a workout: some don’t mind it, while others don’t like to have much in their belly before hitting the track. Even if you don’t like to eat before you run, having something small will give you energy to move to the best of your ability.

A pre-run snack could be:

  • One or two slices of wholegrain toast or raisin toast
  • A couple of fresh or dried dates
  • A small bowl of cereal with chopped fruit and yoghurt
  • Or a piece of fresh fruit.

If you’re exercising later in the day, try having something larger to eat an hour or two before your training session. Try 150 grams of plain yoghurt and untoasted muesli or a wholegrain muesli bar with nuts or fruit.

After training

After a workout, there are three important things your body needs:

Protein

Protein will assist with muscle repair and growth. Aim to have 20-30grams of protein in the hour post-exercise, which you could get from 100-150 grams of lean meat or fish, three eggs, 150-180 grams of plain yoghurt, or a fruit-based smoothie.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates help with both refuelling your body and supporting the muscle repair process. A fruit smoothie, muesli and yoghurt, oats with milk, lean meat and rice or pasta and veggies are all great options to help replenish your energy reserves.

If you feel tired, lethargic or hungry within an hour after you’ve finished training, it’s a sign that you haven’t eaten enough carbs – so eat a little more!

Fluids

We might be talking about what to eat while training, but it’s important to remember that it’s not just about food – rehydrating before and after you run is a really important part of keeping you healthy and helping you perform your best when you run. Not rehydrating properly can actually decrease your performance by up to 60 per cent, so make sure you’re drinking plenty of water both before and after you run.

For a particularly long training session over a couple of hours, or on race day, you can check how much you need to drink by weighing yourself before and after the event. Whatever weight you’ve lost during the run, you need to drink that much fluid plus 50 per cent more to effectively rehydrate. For example, if you are one kilogram lighter after your run, you need to drink one and a half litres of water.

On race day

Your diet shouldn’t change too much between training and racing. With practice, you’ll learn what feels best in your body before and after you run, and can mimic this on the day of the race.

Pre-race

The night before Bridge to Brisbane Day, eat a dinner that’s a little higher in carbohydrates to make sure your energy stores are full. Potato, rice or pasta are great options for a pre-race dinner, or have a lighter meal of yoghurt and fruit with oats.

Remember that good quality carbs will keep your energy levels stable, rather than the low quality carbs such as highly processed, sugary foods like lollies, chocolate or ice cream.

On the day of the race, eat as you have been during training. If you’re not a big pre-run eater, or your race is very early in the morning, plan to have something small that will give you an energy boost. Don’t forget to have plenty of fluids before you run!

Post-race

Even though it might be tempting to fill up on junk food as a reward after your run, sticking to non-food rewards (like getting a massage, or going to the movies) is a much better way to celebrate your achievement.

Try to eat a meal with plenty of protein and carbohydrates, like you have during training, within an hour of crossing the finish line. Make sure you consume plenty of fluids as well, to ensure you are properly rehydrated.

If you have to wait longer than an hour between finishing the race and getting a meal, have a simple snack like a wholegrain muesli bar or piece of fruit to tide you over until you can eat something more substantial.

Once the races are over, why not reward yourself by spending a beautiful day in South Bank? Relax in the Finish Village with family and friends, or give your body the fuel it needs with a meal from one of your favourite South Bank cafes and restaurants. Many South Bank retailers have exclusive deals for Bridge to Brisbane Day participants – all you have to do is show your race bib.

 

This blog was contributed by our friends at Healthier. Happier.

Got any other suggestions on what to eat while training? Let us know in the comments below. 

Yet to enter Bridge to Brisbane Day? It’s not too late – but hurry, last year’s event SOLD OUT! Get your runners on and enter NOW. 

Don’t forget to share your training snaps by using the hashtags #bridge2brisbane and #BestTimeBNE!

 

Get Fit For Free: Five Ways To Train For Less Than A Breakfast Of Smashed Avocado!

Training for Bridge to Brisbane Day doesn’t have to mean having to outlay money on a gym membership, a personal trainer and bootcamps to get in shape, even if this is your first fun run. There are plenty of ways to get fit for free, both by yourself and in a group – here’s how:

Fit fitness into your routine

Take a look at your daily routine and identify opportunities to add some exercise into the mix. Take the stairs at the bus station, go for a walk or jog on your lunch break, or perhaps walk over to see your colleagues at their desk instead of calling on the phone or emailing. You can even save money by walking, running or riding a bike to places you go regularly, such as your work, the supermarket or your local coffee shop.

Get out in nature

Brisbane is surrounded by State and National Parks with tracks that you can walk, run or ride for free. Exercising in nature can help clear your mind, improve your mood and have positive effects on self-esteem, so grab a buddy and go exploring!

If you don’t want to stray too far from your own backyard, Brisbane is an incredibly exercise-friendly city, with an extensive network of bikeways and shared pathways forming part of most major routes.

Whether you want to train for an event, ride for fun with the family or commute to work by bike, Brisbane has plenty of options on offer for you.

Find a free class

Brisbane City Council runs a range of free or low-cost fitness activities as part of their Active and Healthy program. From bootcamps to walking groups, aqua aerobics to yoga in the park, there’s a free class to suit all ages, fitness levels and types.

In addition, more than 90 parks across Brisbane are installed with fitness equipment, perfect for outdoor workouts. Not only are these a fun and free way to be active and healthy, they’re also easy to access and there’s no membership required! Find your nearest equipped park on the map and do your own circuit a few times a week.

Find inspiration online

Between YouTube and Vimeo, there is no shortage of free videos that cover everything from gentle exercises to get you started, to full 12-month fitness programs, all in exceptional detail. If anything, there may be too many, which can make it hard to know what’s right for you! Check out the Healthier. Happier. fitness collections, made up of best practice exercises for a range of goal-based workouts that you can do at home and are completely free of charge.

Training with friends

If exercising alone isn’t your thing, finding a group of like-minded friends could be the difference between achieving your running goals and staying stagnant on the couch. If you’re running Bridge to Brisbane Day as a part of a team, get your group together once or twice a week to train as a group.

If you’ve entered Bridge to Brisbane Day solo, ask friends, colleagues and family if anyone is free to exercise with you. Chances are you’ll know someone else seeking the benefit of a little peer motivation!

Make things interesting by switching up where you train, organising mini-races if your group is competitive, or tasking a different member each week to be responsible for leading stretches, picking a running route, or choosing a complimentary workout for the group each week.

What training activity should you spend your money on?

While training for Bridge to Brisbane Day doesn’t have to be expensive, there are a few things we recommend stocking up on to make the most of your exercise:

Yet to enter Bridge to Brisbane Day? It’s not too late – but hurry, last year’s event SOLD OUT! Get your runners on and enter NOW. 

Don’t forget to share your training snaps by using the hashtags #bridge2brisbane and #BestTimeBNE!

How To Choose The Perfect Running Shoes For You

To cut a long story short, there is no single pair of perfect running shoes – because no two feet are the same.

From the shape and size of our feet to our individual biomechanics, each runner will have their own unique requirements from a running shoe to keep them running happy in the lead-up to Bridge to Brisbane Day 2017 and beyond.

So let’s narrow it down…..

ARCH

Getting the best fit for your foot is essential in ensuring the support is functioning to minimise additional stresses the body encounters while running. If you have a very flat foot, you need to choose a shoe that accommodates this – usually a straight lasted shoe. If you have a medium to high arch, a semi-curve shoe will hug through the midfoot to ensure a supportive fit.

SUPPORT

The amount of support you require will depend on how much your feet roll in when running or walking.

neutral shoe has the same density of material through the entire midsole, for a foot that is applying even pressure on either side (i.e. not rolling in). A support shoe will be reinforced with a firmer density midsole material at the arch, to resist compression when your foot is rolling in. A maximum support shoe will have even more of this firmer density foam, to help prevent feet from rolling in too far.

CUSHIONING

Cushioning is all about protecting the body, and providing an optimal running experience.

If a shoe is too soft or too firm, it may not provide adequate protection against the forces your body endures when running. Brooks running shoes utilise a combination of advanced midsole compounds that adapt to runners’ unique needs and wants, to keep you running happier and longer.

EXPERIENCE

As well as having different biomechanics, runners also have very different expectations of their run.

Brooks running shoes are available in a range of styles designed to provide a variety of running experiences. Brooks describes these experiences as the “float” range, which allows you to switch off and cruise through your run, while the “feel” range provides a more engaged run with increased responsiveness and connection to the terrain. They will all get you “from A to B”, but you can choose the experience best suited for your running style.

Looking for a new pair of running shoes before Bridge to Brisbane Day? Check out the Brooks Shoe Finder tool which will help recommend the best running shoes for you.

Written by: Sarah Wilson, Brooks Senior Technical Representative

Ready to debut those brand-new running shoes? Click here to enter for Bridge to Brisbane Day 2017.