It's time to get serious. Whether you're strapping up for your first ever 5km or your 7th marathon, make central Auckland your one-stop shop to get all you need to arrive at the start lane fresh, and land at the finish line triumphant. We've pulled up most areas you need to take care of in race preparation, matched it up with the best providers in town, to help make 2018 your fastest year ever.
Shoes, Shoes, Shoes
Most sports rely on one main equipment or another, and running is no different. With mysterious terms such as 'heel drop', 'footbridge' and 'pronation' thrown around, it's no wonder people resort to the same-old, same-old. But a good shoe fitted to you make all the difference when it comes to performance and injury prevention, so do not simply settle for what you know. Instead, head to Platinum Sports Co. and grab a shoe specialist to help you get measured and matched. We promise the extra dollars for a fitted premium shoe will be worth it. Alternatively, if you're a die-hard Nike or Asics fan, there are central city flagship stores and very friendly staff to help you slip into your regulars.
Fit and Fab
Now that you have your lace ups, don't forget what you'll wear on top, and what you'll wear on the bottom. The key to successful races is preparation, and that includes what you'll wear on race day. For shorter races like 5kms, you could get away with an old t-shirt. But for longer races, such as half and full marathons, you want to put your thinking cap on as to the likely weather, for the terrain, how you'll fuel, and so on. For example, a long Winter race with a chance of snow might see you buy up in late Summer a set of long sleeve tops, compression tights, cap and gloves. Aside from your staple workout gear stores such as Lululemon and Stirling Sports, also visit the likes of The North Face, Kathmandu and Macpac for technical gear that will see you through all sorts of outdoor scenarios.
Fill Her Up
Whether you're heading out for those dreaded 30km long runs (we feel you) or running speed intervals around your local park (we also feel you), your practice of hydration and fueling during crucial workouts can be the difference between making it and 'hitting the wall'. If you can, find out ahead of time what nutrition will be available at drink stations and seek these out to practice with prior to the race. Otherwise, be wise and load up on quality hydration and quick fueling goods at NZ Muscle and Life Pharmacy. Protein powder for recovery can also be found at these retailers.
Grab a Friend
Or two. Better yet, grab a pack, and see your times drop. It's well known that running with a group improves stamina, speed and boosts socialisation the way that solo-running fails to. With an abundance of free running groups in Auckland, such as Asics Move Club, adidas Runners and Les Mills Road Runners, you can clock your mileage with like-minded individuals who are also likely to be balancing busy lives, busy jobs and a 2018 race goal. If it's personalised training that you need, the trainers at Imagine Fitness Personal Training Studio can assess and sort you out with a tailored plan.
Technology has been and continues to be touted as a key fitness trend. Fitness giants like Garmin and Fitbit continuously innovate to bring to us new technologies that will help us track our workouts, whether that's on land or in the water, making it all the more fun (and possibly competitive) to lace up and head on out. Others like Apple and Samsung have also brought out their new smart-watches, so there is plenty to choose from. If you don't know what you would benefit most from, just see the team at Rebel Sport who might just help you pair up with shoes, gear, fuel and tracker, all in one go! Too easy.
Once that's all done and dusted, we'll see you out there!