Running is a great form of exercise. We know the variety of positive effects it is has on our bodies. But what are some of the things you should consider when commencing, or continuing with, a running program? Below are a few tips and tricks to consider to hopefully bolster your running program and push you towards your running goals!
1. Get those muscles stronger!
It used to be commonplace to think that runners should not strength train and even that it might be detrimental to running performance. But thanks to an abundance of research we now know that whether you’re a serious runner, or just a weekend warrior, you will benefit greatly from adding some resistance training to your program. It’s likely to result in increased running economy, improved overall running performance, and likely to reduce running related injury risk. So pop a couple resistance sessions into your program, and sit back and watch your performance skyrocket!
2. Consider your ‘running load’, don’t cram!
‘Running Load’ consists of the length of your runs (distance or time), the intensity, the frequency, and the amount of recovery days in your program. Particularly when you’re starting out, ‘cramming’ your running program to fast track your goals can seem like a great idea. But this can place excess stress of the body that outweighs its capacity to meet those demands. This can sometimes lead to injury. Recent research has shown that limiting your running load increase ≦ 10% each week can significantly reduce your injury risk. In short don’t cram, give your body the time it needs to get to your goals.
3. Rethink how you ‘stretch’ before your run
Static stretches still have their place, but you’ll likely get more benefit performing movement specific drills prior to a run. The goal is to raise your body temperature, and prep your body for the task it’s about to undertake. Consider adding some high knees, butt kicks, A and B skips, walking lunges to your warm-up (keep an eye out on our socials for some examples). Your warm-up should last for 10-15mins or until you feel prepped to get out there and get running!
In short, running is a great exercise in itself. The above are just there to make sure you are getting the most out of your program and keep you tracking safely towards your goals! Pop into the clinic for some other ideas on how you can improve your running performance.