Race Planning Blog – Sam Richardson

Training is imperative if you want to give yourself a fighting chance of completing your challenge or being competitive for those a little more inclined to mix it up at the front of the pack. Whether it be a running race, cycle sportive, mountain hike or trek, the key to success is having a well-considered, progressive training plan, accompanied by a balanced & nutritionally supportive dietary plan and finally, you need to have a race strategy to help realise your objectives.


“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Where do you start though, well…you dreamt up a goal or objective that leads to you to seeking out the best suited challenge or race for you and signing up for the event is the start of your master plan!

From there, you need to balance your current ability, fitness & timeframe until your race, and you can then start to breakdown your training programme into achievable, weeklong segments, that allow you to take progressive, steady steps forward in terms of distance, pace/speed and technique.

The bedrock of developing athleticism is embedding good warm-up, cool down & stretching routines into your plan. Slowly warming-up and easing yourself into your session enables you space to mentally prepare for the exertion ahead, it allows your heart-rate to steadily increase, improving blood flow and in turn, the amount of oxygen reaching your muscles.

In-turn the mix of static and dynamic stretching will activate your muscles, improving elasticity and your range of motion, the combination of which reduces the risk of injury during exercise.

Watch: The Importance of Stretching: Warming Up and Cooling Down

Conversely to your warm-up, reversing this process after your session will steadily bring your heart rate down, maintain muscle length & strength in some areas and gives you time to reflect on the success & improvements made during your training session.

Food, fuel, nutrition, hydration…its very personal, only you know your body and what it feels as though it needs to support & sustain prolonged exertion, and what works for Geraint Thomas, Eliud Kipchoge or Tony at the tennis club, might not work for you.

Clean eating – fruit & vegetables, unprocessed food & moderated meat intake, will afford you with a strong foundation to your nutritional plan, but we all have very different & busy lives, and the vast majority of us are not pro-athletes, so do reward yourself every now & again for putting in a shift!.

The start of your event, race or challenge is the culmination of weeks, months or even years’ worth of work and you need to be forearmed with a strategy to deliver the best performance you can. Many of us now use GPS watches or Apps to track our training, so use this data to get an invaluable overview of your past performance to help it structure your race and use it alongside your unrivalled knowledge of your own body, to structure a race plan.

Warm-Up, Nutrition, Pace, Hydration…they all need to be considered to draw up a thorough race plan, but you also need to be rigid and avoid getting sucked into the excitement of the race, being drawn into someone else’s race and deviating from your own plan. If you do get ‘excited’ during the race, you will normally pay for it later, whether that’s slowing towards the end & nullifying your earlier efforts, injuring yourself or not finishing at all.


“Have a plan, stick to it and revel in the success when you achieve objective!”

Sam Richardson

Thank you for reading

Sam Richardson
Team OnVenture

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Speak to the team at OnVenture about booking an active weekend break in Suffolk. There is plenty to choose from, from road and off-road cycling to running, hiking, walking, swimming, and triathlon themed adventures. Plus, we also offer specialist coaching camps, so if you are training for that special event, get in touch.

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