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Running; you either love it or you stick with it until you do! Whether you’re brand new to running, or you’ve been running for awhile, these tips by our friends at V&B Athletic will help with your technique and recovery. Hopefully they will inspire you to take your running to the next level.
Other than a running buddy, music is one of the most powerful motivators going around. Put some playlists together of the tunes that get you fired up but also try to pick songs with a good running tempo that you can run in time with- around 180 beats per minute is what you’re aiming for (there’s a tonne of recommendations on the web). Just be sure to keep the volume to a level that means you’re able to hear what’s going on around you… remember safety first!
Setting the treadmill at a very low incline of around 1% can help prevent shin-splints that sometimes arise from running too much on a perfectly flat surface. It can also simulate the greater effort that is required outdoors due to wind resistance, uneven terrain etc. and help boost your running even faster. Give it a try!
After your training sessions, it’s important to consume some protein and carbohydrates (in the form of a shake or a meal, whatever works for you), ideally within 30 to 40 minutes of finishing your session. This is particularly important if you’ve trained early in the day before eating breakfast, to help prevent muscle breakdown.
If you don’t have parts of your training that you really enjoy and look forward to, you’re always going to look for an excuse not to start. Effective training is often going to be hard but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun while doing it. Find a training buddy who makes you laugh, wear a silly hat, finish your run at your favourite cafe…whatever it takes to make sure that the next time that alarm goes off, you’re bouncing out of bed with a smile on your face!
Don’t forget your posture. Look straight ahead and focus on your upper body form, don’t get too focussed on looking down at the screen or your neck, shoulders and upper body will follow. Oh, and try not to hang onto the handrails – other than to help you get on and off safely!
If you have been following our program the standard post workout stretches will take you through all major muscle groups. It’s really important to go through these straight after your workout if you can, but if you can’t do them straight away, change into something warm and dry to keep your muscles warm and loose until you can stretch them out. Ideally you’ll go through them again later in the day too. And remember, if something is particularly tight or sore, take some extra time to (carefully) stretch that out too.
Try to keep your stride length as natural as possible and about the same length as you would outside. It’s tempting to shorten it on a treadmill but that could negatively affect your running when you head out onto the road, track or trail.
If you’re following the running program as set out, you’ll see we have built in a time trial every 4 weeks where you run the same distance and track your times. While variety in training is critical to keep you motivated, doing a particular workout or run distance on a regular basis is a great way to track your progress and give you concrete evidence of the improvements you’re making over time. There’s almost no better motivator to show you the results of all that hard work.
Stay hydrated!! Without natural airflow you’ll actually heat up more and burn through fluids faster on a treadmill than you will in the great outdoors. Keep that water bottle handy and take regular small sips to top up your reserves.
These days, most of us have a foam roller or two lying around the house. But if you’re like us you probably don’t use it as much as you should. For runners it’s a critical piece of recovery equipment and we can’t emphasise enough how important it is – and how much you’ll save on physio and massage therapists! Try and get a good half hour session done at least 3 times a week, we find in front of the telly works best for us, but whatever works for you try and make it a regular part if your training and your body will thank you for it!
By Jase & DJ, KIC’s Running Coaches