Personally, I get a great boost of motivation from training for an upcoming running event. So, if you are anything like me you are getting very excited now the big running festivals are starting to come back. Bumping shoulders with other adrenaline filled runners with the roar of a crowd behind you … oh how I have missed it! However, as any recreational runner knows, there is a lot of effort and hard work to put into the training before race day. In this blog I’ll talk about my top tips to remember when training for a running event.
- Start easy
One of the most common mistakes, that often causes injury, increasing your running load too quickly. I mean we have all been there before … getting perhaps a little bit too overzealous with our first run back and struggling to walk for the next two days. Pacing yourself isn’t just something for the first couple of runs, but something that should be considered all throughout your training program. It takes longer than you would think for your tissues to adapt to the new load, so easy does it! A good rough measure is to increase your distance by 10-15% each week and gradually integrate hills.
- Resistance training is a must!
Getting your kilometres up in your training is super important, but if you want to avoid injury AND improve your overall performance, weighted resistance exercise is essential. This can include a large range of exercise types, with some of the best being land based strength exercises and Pilates (hopefully with a Physio!) for core muscle strengthening and stretching. It is important to have a proper strength assessment to target those muscles that are weaker and therefore more likely to be a site of injury and pain.
- Practice makes perfect!
Whether you have competed in an event or not, I’m sure you can imagine all the things that could go wrong on race day. From wearing the wrong socks, feeling bloated after a bad breakfast, or even getting chafe from a new pair of pants, even one wrong thing on race day can really make an impact. To minimise the risk of anything like that happening, try and practice your race day routine a few times before your event. Things to pay particular attention to are:
- Your footwear – Make sure that you have worn them in, and they are appropriate for your own foot type.
- Your clothes – Ensure they fit correctly and are not causing any chafing along any contact points.
- Your diet – considering your food intake the couple of days before and morning of the race is important. The balance of having enough energy stored to carry out your race, but not making your stomach too heavy is super important!
Remember we are always here to help at Bend + Mend. We offer running gait assessment services and Physiotherapy-led Pilates exercise programs to help you get your running training off on the right foot!