Are you ready City2Surfers?? Only a few sleeps to go before I tackle the iconic City2Surf run for Fight Cancer Foundation!
Your rest time is a vital factor in your body performing at it’s optimal level. Nobody understands this better than Ultra runner Majell Backhausen. Majell represented Australia at the IAU Ultra Trail World Championships in May and is currently training for a 170km race in France! Safe to say he knows a thing or two about running prep…
He gives us some insight into how pillow habits can help optimize our performance and shares some other great pre and post-race tips!
I know I need my beauty sleep and aim for 8 hours a night, but it’s amazing to notice changes in your body when you aren’t getting enough zee time.
Majell says “Sleep is extremely important during intense periods of a training cycle and during a taper period before a target event/ race. It is during sleep when your body can recover in optimal conditions and allow you to be fully prepared for race day.”
Love your afternoon naps? Majell reckons it’s ok to indulge occasionally
“If it is possible to get any extra sleep, take it and enjoy!!”
I like the sound of that! Although you shouldn’t use it as an excuse to spend all day in bed, it’s about a healthy balance. Remember to listen to your body. Common sense tells us that if you pick up your training routine for an event like City2Surf then you also need extra recovery time. Majell has a varied training routine that has specific goals tailored to his upcoming event.
He might complete easy runs, strength and conditioning sessions, tempo runs or hill sessions but he claims the most important day of all is REST DAY!
He tells us how he finds his balance.
“I can tell if I have not recovered from the previous days session if I wake up to an ‘Opportunity Clock’ (otherwise known as an alarm clock) after a short sleep in an intense period of training. It is important to listen to these signs and pay attention to them. This could mean altering the training plans for the day.”
So you’ve been training hard for weeks, you’ve scheduled in your 8 hours of sleep per night and got your diet plan sorted….The anticipation is building but now what?
Majell shares some wisdom on his pre-race rituals.
“Friday is preparations day. Eat well, hydrate (with water), sort out your running kit and get a really good night sleep. Doing this kind of preparation two days before the event, will allow your body to really absorb all the goodness and it will be in your system ready to use on race day.”
“The only thing you can do the evening before the race is relax, enjoy a healthy meal, hydrate properly and think of that great feeling when you cross the finish line. “
The great feeling will be even stronger if you have ran for a reason and used your event as an opportunity to raise funds and awareness for a charity like Fight Cancer Foundation as I have. Knowing you have completed a fitness goal and that it contributes to a worthy cause as well gives you such a kick out of life!
Majell also has some great post run advice.
“After the event, reach for water before you reach for any celebratory beverage recovery.” (Then you can have a beer)
“You will no doubt be keen to sign up and begin preparation for the next event and this preparation begins with recovery. Then go eat a bag of chia seeds!”
How are you feeling? Nervous? Excited? Prepared? Regardless of any pre-race butterflies, remember to trust yourself and give it your best shot.
“All the hard work will have been done in the weeks and months leading up to the race- so have confidence in your training and your ability!” say Majell.
But what if you signed up late and are now feeling a little bit nervous? Especially if the winter weather washed out a few too many training runs!
“If you really have not prepared yourself for the event- just go out and enjoy the experience of challenging yourself to new heights.” Says Majell.
“Always bring a positive attitude to the start line and smile! You signed up for the challenge, so go out there and get one!”
Did you know there is still time for last minute runners to sign up and join me in the fight against cancer by nominating Fight Cancer Foundation as your charity of choice and asking friends to support your efforts by raising vital funds for people living with cancer? More information: https://www.fightcancer.org.au/event/city2surf/
Remember to eat well, rest up and I’ll see you at the finish line guys!
To follow Majells journey:
or you can contact him for more running coaching and motivation through his website