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So you’ve signed up for your first half-marathon? Awesome! You’ve been diligently following your KIC Girls run training program consistently getting your interval, hill and tempo sessions done and putting in those long runs to get your body accustomed to running for longer periods of time. Excellent work!
Here are a few tips that will make sure you cross that finish line of feeling strong and confident!
Your technique affects your speed, your running economy and how susceptible you are to getting injured. Some examples of poor technique include poor posture, heel striking and overstriding. Even if you’re an experienced runner you should spend time regularly reviewing your technique so that it becomes second nature, even when you’re tired.
Working with a running coach who can help to identify areas for improvement and make small adjustments to your technique can bring about huge improvements in your running!
Proper running technique including posture, footfall and cadence can help to reduce your fatigue and significantly increase your overall enjoyment of your run on race day. You want to run tall, try not to slouch. Keep your chin up and eyes level on the horizon but maintain a slight lean forward from the ankles. Your shoulders should be relaxed and arms at 90 degrees to avoid tensing up as this wastes energy and ruins your running efficiency. The best way to do this? Smile!
It’s safe to say once you fall in love with running, you’ll want to run more often! But by adding bodyweight and resistance work to your training can bring huge benefits to your running.
Exercises that focus on your core will not only help your running technique but also help to maintain good posture through your torso when you start to get tired in the latter stages of the race. Similarly, exercises that focus on the legs will challenge your muscles in a way that running doesn’t.
By incorporating planks, bridges and squats together with single leg work such as lunges and step ups will help you become more stable and enable you to run stronger for longer!
The Yin and Yang of fitness! Yoga practice balances strength whilst increasing your range of motion and flexibility. It’s also multi-dimensional, teaching you to coordinate your breathing with each subtle movement. Eventual result? The integration of body, mind and breath!
Systematic yoga practice helps engage, strengthen and place greater demands on all of your intrinsic muscle groups, the ones that support and stabilise the skeletal system, making you a stronger more capable runner.
When you consider that an average road runner strikes the ground nearly 1,000 times in a single kilometre, pounding the muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments with each step, practising yoga regularly is the perfect supplement to an effective running program.
Rest days are important! You may not know this, but performance gains don’t happen while you’re training; they actually happen between your workouts, during recovery!
Most runners need at least one or even two days off from running a week. Some studies show that running six or seven days per week dramatically increases your risk of injury. By taking at least one day off per week gives your body the chance to recover and repair itself.
While the importance of complete rest days can’t be denied, recovery or absorption runs are a great way to simply loosen up and get the blood flowing.
Try incorporating a Sunday absorption run into your training. This should be very light intensity and very low impact, for no more than 30 minutes. Adding this to your weekly training will prepare you for harder sessions later in the week by helping your body adapt and absorb to the stimulus provided by your previous week’s workouts.
A successful first half-marathon means being consistent with your training and consistent in your recovery. You’ll soon notice the benefits of training like this but aim to do an easy week every 3 to 4 weeks so your body can adapt and recover.
You’ve put the hard work in to get to that start line. While you’re going to push yourself a little harder on race day, it’s not supposed to be torture! Don’t forget to look around and enjoy the atmosphere!
Jase Cronshaw & David Jones