As you may well have gathered by now, I love a challenge(!) I love finding something that pushes me beyond what I thought was possible and forces me to adjust so that I come out stronger. I’ve done all sorts of challenges like cycling to Paris in 24 hours, running marathons, cycling 200 miles in a day and cross country skiing 26 miles. So, in this post I wanted to share a few of the things I’ve learnt along the way about how to train and prepare yourself.
Practice Makes Perfect
It goes without saying that a good level of fitness is going to help you no end. You never want to be on the start line with that nagging feeling in the back of your mind that you may not be able to go the whole distance. So, set yourself up for success by developing a solid training plan that builds over time. If your challenge is going to take you many hours of even days make sure you start training early enough in order to build up a good endurance base. Both your mind and body need to be able to keep going when you get tired and the going gets tough.
Harness Your Why
There’s likely to be a reason why you’ve signed up for your challenge. Maybe you wanted to try something new or prove to yourself or others that you could face your fears. Whatever your reason, make sure you know it inside out. You may well need to call on it when you’re body is aching and your mind is telling you to give up. I often also rely on my own positive phrases or mantras that I repeat to myself over and over to give me the strength I need.
Positivity Is Key
Above all else, the most important thing is to have the belief that you can do it. I know it sounds cliche but you really can do anything you set your mind to. In the lead up to your adventure focus on the positives. Imagine yourself crossing that finish line or telling your friends and family about what an amazing experience you had in as much detail as you can. Whatever you do, don’t waste your time and energy thinking negatively or worrying about things that are out of your control.
Set Yourself Mini Goals
Sometimes it can be difficult to comprehend the enormity of a big adventure or endurance challenge. I always break my big goal down into smaller more manageable goals. This makes the whole thing a little easier to deal with mentally. It also enables me to accomplish lots of small wins on the way to achieving my bigger goal. For example, I’m currently training for an ultra marathon so I’ve set myself smaller training goals that I aim to hit before race day.
On the same note, I also set myself training challenges by entering races or events that fit in within my training plan. You never need to go the whole distance in your training challenges, but do make sure you go far enough to give yourself the confidence that you can tackle your end goal. Another top tip is to join a club or find a group of people with similar interests to help motivate you and keep you focussed.
When it comes to it, the most important thing to remember is that whatever happens you’re going to have the most amazing time. Not everyone gets to the chance to throw themselves into adventures, so my advice is to jump straight in and grab it with open arms.
Ready for more? There’s a whole load of inspiration over on my website; GWhoDares.com, head over there now and make sure you sign yourself up to my newsletter for my latest tips and guides. Oh, and don’t forget to come and say hi on Instagram; @GWhoDares.