Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Things I learnt from walking for ReachOut

I am not a sporty person at all so do the walk on Sunday was a big thing for me, if you ever get the chance to do a walk for charity here are some tips.

For the fundraising:
  • Choose a charity you love - I am a youth ambassador for ReachOut which meant I already love and believe in the cause. I am also passionate about mental health advocacy so this made encouraging people to donate fun and people could tell that it meant a lot to me.
  • Give people incentives to donate - I told people that if they donated before the Sunday and if I met my goal ($150) they would go into the draw to win their choice of baked good (I gave them a choice of either a dozen brownies, pieces of caramel slice or choc chip cookies) baked by me. This worked really well and I managed to reach my goal (plus an extra $104.55) within a few days of doing this, I ended up drawing a runner up along with the main winner because of this. It doesn't have to be a big reward but it will encourage people to donate.
  • Promote it regularly - I tried to promote it regularly by posting my supporter page on Facebook and twitter, sometimes it would just be the link but other times I would write something about ReachOut or how many weeks away it was.
The day/night before:
  • Get a good nights rest - I actually went to bed at 10.30 the night before which wasn't ideal! I knew I shouldn't have gone out but watching The Castle and s'mores was a too good an offer to refuse. I still got a good nights rest considering but next time I will aim to be in bed by 9.00 as waking up the next morning was a struggle. 
  • Set 2 alarms - I have been known to turn alarms off in my sleep so I always set 2 alarms before a big event (15 minutes apart) as that way if I happened to turn one off its not the end of the world. I set one at 5.00am and one at 5.15am as this gave me time to wake up a bit before having to get ready.
  • Pack a bag - I packed a small backpack the night before with the following: lipbalm, advil, water, keys, (charged) phone, sunglasses, hair elastics, purse, trail mix (for after the race in case my blood sugar decided to drop), race bib and safety pins (in a container - my advice is to buy a container of 30 and take that with you as a few people in my team didn't have any on the day) and few other things. This meant that the next morning I just had to grab it and go rather than remember everything. Other things that would be a good idea to pack are: sunscreen, hat, bandaids, deodorant, wipes, etc.
  • Set out your clothes - this meant that in my half asleep state I could get ready without thinking too much and made waking up much easier.
  • Work out your transport - with these events you can sometimes catch public transport for free and its well worth doing so if you can, as you never know what the parking will be like. Work out what time you will need to leave and the route you will have to take. I ended up driving to the train station then caught the train and walking to the venue (which also warmed me up!) this worked out well and I saw many people doing the same. Once you figure it out you can work out what time you will have to get up to leave on time and cause yourself a lot less stress.
The morning of:
  • Eat a decent breakfast - it doesn't have to be fancy just something filling with protein and carbs (like eggs on toast or muesli and cereal).
  • Give yourself plenty of time - you don't want to be in a hurry and cause yourself to skip breakfast or forget something important. Its also a good idea to get to the venue early if you can so you can stretch and warm up before hand.
During the race:
  • Pace yourself - don't try to keep up with everyone and focus instead on yourself. Try and keep a consistent pace and try not push yourself. I knew that if I ran I would end up in a coughing it so I didn't so I kept to power walking.
  • Stay hydrated - I grabbed water whenever I passed a water station and also made sure to take a good drink at the end of the race. Also carry water with you just in case as you never know when you will need it.
After the race:
  • Treat yo self - in the rise words of Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle off Parks and Rec its good to treat yourself so after the race I treated myself by doing a Maccas run for lunch (it was a grilled wrap and fries so not too unhealthy). You don't have to treat yourself majorly but make sure you acknowledge what you did and reward yourself.
  • Stretch - this helps prevent soreness from setting in and if it does it won't be as severe. The last thing you need is to be swore for days after the event.
  • Thank your supporters - even if its just a general thank you on social media or text or in person (if you know the people and see them often) just make sure you acknowledge them for supporting you.
I am still amazed that I managed to complete the full 5km and beat my target amount of money raised! Hopefully the above tips will help the next time you decide to do a charity walk/run, of course the important thing is to have fun (and not die at the end of it!) and know that you are making a difference.

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