Be prepared

5 things that will jeopardise your performance in an endurance event

Here are the big, big mistakes you’re making.

THE TOUGHER THE challenge, the bigger the draw it seems these days. From being content with park runs and the odd charity cycle we’ve become a nation obsessed with events like ultra-marathons and century bike rides. The tougher the better, it appears.

However, that doesn’t mean we’re any good at them and here are five very, very big mistakes you’re making in endurance event.

Planning to do it…but not preparing to

If you’re the type who decides to oil up the chain and dust the cobwebs off the bike the weekend before the Ring of Kerry cycle you might want to re-think your strategy.

Ireland has a calendar brimming with amazing events every year, from night hikes to mountain runs to kayaking adventure races to never-ending cycles but don’t sell yourself short by underestimating them.

It’s a harsh country at times, what with weather often making the conditions miserable and or dangerous. Do yourself a big favour and actually put the time in to prepare, months in advance.

Buying the best of everything

So you’ve taken our first point on board and you’ve decided to leave nothing to chance. Well done!

But dropping €10,000 on a top of the range road bike, signing up for bi-weekly kayaking lessons and packing in your job so you can do night runs three times a week wasn’t quite what we meant.

These events can all be done on the cheap so don’t break the bank on equipment. You might hate the thought of exercising afterwards and be left with a pile of stuff you’ll find hard to shift!


You’ve been counting down the days to competition so you can finally get to try out those brand new runners, wet-suit and carbon fibre road bike.
You anticipate setting a blistering time because of all the new kit but sadly, the runners skin the ankles off you, the wet-suit is a lot tighter than you thought and the bike was a size too big.

Never, EVER try anything new for the first time on the day of the event. Something ALWAYS goes wrong. This applies to food, drink and sleep too.

To eat or not to eat…

When it comes to race nutrition the key is to eat early and often. Too often, competitors jeopardise a good performance by forgetting to eat and then eating too late.

If 90 minutes passes before you have something, you’re already too late and won’t avoid the dreaded bonk.
Aim to eat one energy gel, bar or piece of fruit (which contains about 100 calories) every half an hour.


It’s a race. It’s not life or death. Give it respect, but not too much.

Too many people ruin their chances of ever giving their best account by fretting. Not finishing is usually the number one fear but if you follow the above steps, stay in tune with your effort, eat and drink, things will be fine.

If you don’t, the only one who it’ll bother is you.

Originally published at 08.15

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