Running season is well upon us. If you’re only just beginning to train we have some great tips here at Pivotal Motion to help you avoid the ice-pack and smash your goals this season. We have put together our top tips to help the new runners and decrease injuries.
Get the right shoes
Too many runners make the mistake of running in old or worn out shoes. Causing a dramatic increases of the load that your body absorbs through the ground with each step. Other common mistakes include buying the wrong pair which can cause your body to change your running style to compensate. There are three types of shoes: flexible neutral, firm neutral, and stability shoes. Everyone has their own foot biomechanics which is why it’s important to get properly fitted for a pair of shoes. Go to a running specific store and get fitted properly for the right shoe.
Get a training program
Even an online program from a couch to 5km website is a good start. People believe that in order to train for an event they must run every day and push themselves physically and mentally. Training for a race is a long game. Going out the door everyday and running until you’re exhausted is a great way for you to get injured. Take things slow, make sure you mix up your hard sessions with easy, relaxed runs. The easy runs not only assist in recovery, but they have their own physiological benefits that assist your fitness.
Running in a group takes the loneliness out of running, it also forces you to take your easy runs easy and avoid over-use injuries. Running in a group and catching up with friends is perfect for those longer easier runs. Individuals are forced to run at a pace where you’re able to chat with your friends which allows you to take things slower.
Set yourself realistic and achievable goals. Follow the SMART goal format. Goals must be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-attainable. Too many people set themselves goals that are too much for them and when they fail, they lose motivation and quit. Set yourself smaller goals in the lead up to a bigger one. Achieving the smaller goals not only boosts your confidence but also allows you to see how far you’ve come from when you started.
Practice race day
Race day is unique. Feelings of excitement in the air and adrenaline surges through your body. You must prepare yourself for what is to come on the day of your race. There are too many factors that can affect how you run. If your race is in the morning, make sure you train in the morning, so you can get a feel for how your body tolerates morning runs.
Get your nutrition right before race day. Never try a new food on the day of a race, you need to have a meal plan worked out well in advance and it needs to be tried and tested. Training runs are perfect for this, eat your race day meal before your training runs so your body knows what it’s being fed. Too many people try new foods on race day and have stomach issues which ruins the race. Training runs are perfect to simulate your race day experience. If you can do your training runs in conditions that are specific to your race, you’ll be more likely to perform better when the race actually comes.
Take recovery/cross-training days
Running is a high impact sport; the constant motion of running takes its toll on your body. Runners need at least 1-2 days off a week to allow your body to rest and adapt to the training. If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like taking days off, then add in a swimming session or bike ride instead of a run. These other sports take less impact on the body and will still increase your fitness while working your muscles in different ways to running. Make good friends with your foam roller and roll as often as you can. This assists in loosening up tight muscles, which allows fresh blood to supply the muscles. It’s also good to book in with a massage therapist for the occasional massage and really make use of recovery.
Training for a long-distance race takes time and patience. It’s important to take the time to plan out your goals and tasks rather then get out the door and run as fast as you can every day. Follow these tips and reap the rewards of a successful race!
Pivotal Motion Physiotherapy can help you get race ready. Call the team today on 07 3352 5116 or book an appointment online!
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