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Making the decision to get fit and spend more time working out is an admirable one, as you are dedicating yourself to becoming healthier and happier. Getting into exercise for the first time – or getting back into it after you’ve been away for a while – can be challenging, but setting a goal is a great way to stay focused and help you succeed.
For people who want to take up running, training for a 5K is a great finish line to aim for, and the training will be a challenge, but is something that almost anyone can do.
A 5K race is 3.1 miles, which might sound like a lot at the start, but by the time you finish your training program, it should be much more manageable. The good news is that training doesn’t have to take up all of your time, which is important if you’re a full-time worker or busy new mom.
First, you need to determine how much time you can devote to training. A good timeline is about one-and-a-half to two months, so you have plenty of time to work your way up to running the full length of the race. This allows you to create a schedule that’s a mix of walking and running leading up the race day.
It’s always important to warm up before you begin your workout, so spend at least five minutes heating up your muscles with dynamic stretches with continuous movements and some body-weight squats or lunges to get your heart rate up and get you mentally prepared.
At the beginning of your program, you should start with walks a few times a week, and once you feel comfortable you can switch to intervals. During this phase, you should start with longer walking intervals and shorter running intervals, but this will gradually switch over as you start to run more frequently during your session.
As intervals become less challenging, you can progress to full runs during each workout, starting with a shorter distance and gradually running farther until you reach 3.1 miles.
Keep in mind that it’s always better to stay slow and steady and gradually increase speed and distance because doing too much too soon can result in an injury.
It’s also important to always take the time to cool down after a workout session, so be sure to stretch your muscles and give yourself time to return to your normal resting heart rate.
Throughout your training program, chances are you’ll experience sore muscles and knots. As part of your athletic recovery, you can use self-massage for plantar fasciitis relief and to work out any aches in your legs and back.
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Endurance athletes who take part in marathons, triathlons or century bike rides typically have fitness goals of strength and stamina. Your body needs to be strong enough to carry you long distances, and it needs to have the proper training in order to function for extended periods of time.
Before a race it’s crucial to plan a training program to prepare, and most of this will include running or cycling through intervals of faster and slower speeds, up and down hills and longer and shorter distances. It should also include cross training with strength exercises and core workouts such as Pilates for total body training.
Another factor that should be included in a pre-race program is athletic recovery and stretching. Whether you’re a new or seasoned endurance athlete, you’ll be putting your body through more intense challenges, which is sure to leave you with sore muscles from time to time, but it can also increase your risk of injury. To prevent getting hurt and having a setback, you need to take the proper precautions, which include stretching and massage.
A century bike ride will take you 100 miles, and it will certainly test your mental and physical prowess. This may seem like a lofty goal, but it’s certainly an achievable one that many endurance cyclists aspire to complete.
Being able to bike 100 miles requires serious commitment, dedication, planning and training. Once you decide to take part in a century ride, you need to starting working at least eight weeks beforehand to prepare your mind and body for the challenge ahead. Your training program should consist of long and short rides as well as intervals of different speeds, resistance levels, terrain and hills. It’s also a good idea to cross training with weight lifting to strengthen your muscles and exercises such as Pilates that provide stretching and improve posture.
Another key component is nutrition. Your body won’t be able to last long if it is not being fueled properly. Even slight dehydration can completely zap your energy levels and cause sore musclesand cramps. If this does happen, giving your muscles a massage can help. Additionally, eating the right amount of carbohydrates and fats is needed to fuel your muscles and provide you with the nutrients to keep you going mile after mile. You’ll certainly want to pack snacks to stop and eat during your ride to replenish fuel sources, curb hunger pangs and boost energy. Remember not to pack any foods that are too heavy or hard to transport. A muffin may sound delicious, but it can be messy to eat. Also, be sure not to try any new foods in case it affects your stomach negatively and you have to stop mid-race.
Here are some tasty, helpful snack options to pack for your century ride:
Whether you’re preparing for a cycling race, training for a triathlon or simply appreciate the exhilarating cardio workout you get from riding, your body (the lower half in particular) is certainly being challenged.
Most of your focus will be on the meat of your training – developing programs for each ride to incorporate different terrain, speeds, hills and other aspects of riding itself. But it’s also important to remember that your training doesn’t stop once your session ends. In fact, time spent after you hop off your bike is just as important as time spent on the saddle. Cooling down and taking part in athletic recovery reduces your risk of sore muscles and injuries, which can sideline you and set you back in your schedule. This is especially problematic if you are on a deadline for a race.
After each bike ride you should be taking the time to stretch out your muscles and allow your mind and body to return to their resting states. It’s also useful to incorporate self massage into your routine each week, especially after an intense ride. Massage will help loosen up muscles even further, which is important so you don’t create any imbalances.
There are several key muscles you should focus your massager on after a bike ride: