After the world just undertook months of lockdown it makes sense that we may not all be fighting fit right now. We were stuck indoors after all.
So now that the upcoming dates for the 2020 running festivals have started to be announced, there is no better time to kick yourself into gear and start training with a goal in mind.
One of the many great things about running season, other than the energy and the uplifting atmosphere is the fact that you have a set event that you have to be ready for at a set date. Having something to train for means that you can’t really keep waiting until “tomorrow’ to start training because if you do that, you simply won’t be ready in time.
Here are my top 5 tips to take your run the extra mile this year
Make a plan early and stick to it
Whether you set a plan for yourself, get a coach to help write one up for you, or sign up to a running group, get your plan set early so you don’t procrastinate. The longer you leave it the less likely you are to do it. Ideally, you want 2-3 months to train for an event if you have the luxury of that much notice.
Avoid overdoing your training
One mistake that so many people make is that they sign up for a half marathon (for example) and they think they have to run 21km to prepare for it. This often results in injury and you being sidelined for the big event. You don’t actually have to run the full distance of the run you signed up for in training. You just need to get yourself strong enough to know that you CAN run that distance. Again, a coach/ plan or running group will help you prepare for this
When signing up for a running event many people will just do long runs to prepare for it, however, variety may be more important than you think.
If you really want to improve your run, get into the weights room. Why? Because when we run we are on one leg at a time so it is good to do some single leg work to strengthen up both legs equally. Generally, one leg is stronger than the other so if you are just running you may end up with some imbalances as one overcompensates. Make sure you strengthen the key areas like your legs and glutes
Additionally, posture and core strength are also important as if your posture starts to slip and you start to slouch you can end up being very sore very quickly so working your entire body to keep your shoulders back, core tight and strong is also a must if you want to finish the event without too many niggles.
Another thing to consider is the types of terrain you will be running on. Is it on road, are there hills? Will, there be sand, rubble, are there lots of people that you will have to run around? Make sure you train on every surface that you are likely to come across in that particular event, but also train for things like hills and sprinting around other runners to get in front of them.
In the weeks leading up to the event, I start to clean up my diet and I eat the foods that I will eat the day before the event. A good tip is don’t eat something new the day before an event in case your body does not agree with it, that’s why I start eating similar foods 2-3 weeks before.
I’ll start eating more protein, greens, and healthy carbs. The number of carbs will depend on how big the run I will be doing is and how hard I am training. For example, I would eat more if I was training for a marathon.