Miscellaneous but Important Running-Related Tips
BEFORE YOU EVEN START RUNNING
Warm Up … Start out walking or slow running. Wait for your core to warm up before you hit your gear to avoid injuries. Common warm up distance is about a mile or until you develop a drop of sweat in your forehead.
Check Your Body … You should NEVER try running through intense pain. If the body signals a stop due to some injury, LISTEN to it.
Train to Race and Race to Train … Your training should mimic your race, and your race should be no less than your training. You can only expect to do as well on a race as you did training. The closer your training conditions are compared to the race course the better off you will be.
Nothing NEW … Especially on what you eat or drink, never try anything new on race day. It’s best to avoid a hosts of complaints if you can. Your mouth would be uttering a lot faster than your steps when you experience stomach cramps, muscle cramps, nausea, etc.
The 10% Rule … Increase your weekly mileage by no more than 10% per week. Any more than this and you are setting yourself up for a herd of injuries.
Big Meals … Do not run after a meal, especially a big meal. It’s best to wait for at least 2 hours, or at least 30 minutes before the start with just a little snack.
Take Time to Recover … For every mile you race, allow yourself one day before returning to hard training. Don’t stop all activity – keep moving, but don’t overdo it.
Carbo Load … 2 to 3 days before the race, it is a good idea to increase your carbohydrates intake, especially when you are about to run a long distance race. Stored glycogen in your lungs and muscle will help boost your run with energy.
Cross Train …Cross training will prevent injuries, increase performance, and give your muscle a rest while still keeping active. NO badminton, basketball or sideway-moving sports for serious runners.
Old Shoes …are dead running shoes. Running shoes have a life of about 400 to 500 miles ( that’s 640 to 800 kilometers). It is said that after this mileage, you are setting yourself to injuries if you don’t change your shoes. I wonder if this applies to ALL stability shoes…
Increase VO2… An effective pace for VO2 max is about 20 seconds faster (per mile) than your 5-K race pace. My 9:30 pace per mile would equal to 9:10 per mile.
Efficiency Counts … The more effective your running biomechanics are the less energy you will expend. Concentrate on your running form: STAY upright with your head, shoulder and hips are lined-up with your feet. Your chest should be forward and up. Try not to land too heavy on the heels or too far on the toes. Your arm action will vary, but they should swing naturally from the shoulders relax. Do not allow your arms to cross the midline of your body. Instead of lengthening your stride, develop a faster turnover – stride length will follow.
Develop Your Core … The core of your body is where you derive your power; it provides the foundation for all arm and leg movements. Your core must be strong, flexible, and unimpeded in its movements to achieve maximum performance. Having a strong core will greatly improve your running. Training long hours does not guarantee that you have core stability. In fact, spending too much time working within one plane of motion often creates core imbalances. Add these imbalances to stresses caused by poor posture during running, and you have an equation for the development of a weak core. Try Core Ball exercises combined with a free weight program.
Remember to Stretch …(see below)
WHILE YOU ARE RUNNING
Keep Talking …You should be able to talk to the person beside you when you are running. If you can’t, you have pushed hard – which is what you should be doing if you are trying to beat a PR.
BEFORE YOU EVEN END RUNNING
Cool Down Gradually decrease your run to a walk until at least about a mile. Or walk after a sprint race until your heart rate is back to normal.
RIGHT AFTER YOU RUN
Restore Your Fuel … Take a combination of protein, carbohydrates and electrolytes 30 to 60 minutes after your run and you will see a big difference in your recovery time.
Take a Day Off … At any age you need one day off for every day of HARD training.
Remember to Stretch …The importance of stretching within a workout routine cannot be over-emphasized. Stretching brings our body back into balance, prevents injuries, enhances performance, changes our posture, and even changes how we age, and the way people perceive us. Yet stretching is often neglected because the average person (and many runners) do not understand why it is so important to not only be strong, but also flexible. Consider the basic biomechanics of how our body performs. Our bodies are designed to work in balance – every time a group of muscles contracts to perform an action, an opposing group of muscles (antagonist) must relax and lengthen. These muscles can only contract as forcefully as their antagonist can relax. For example, the quadriceps muscle can contract more quickly if the hamstring muscle group is able to easily lengthen and relax. Without the lengthening of the antagonist, we lose our power, balance, and endurance, we become susceptible to injury, and waste our energy.
Nature is the Art of GOD