One of the most important things about training for an event is arriving at the start line without injury. Ben, fitness coach at Full Potential, gives his advice.
Endurance is built up over months of consistent training.
Sustain your performance by avoiding injury before they cause you to take time out.
The single biggest cause of injuries is over training. An event like a marathon is ripe for over training. However it can happen with any event where you are training a lot. You want to do as much training as possible, but only as much as your body can handle.
If you are a beginner, you need to build the training volume up slowly over months. To avoid over training, you need to know the difference between a niggle and an injury.
Runners training for an event will carry niggles. Rarely will you have a day when everything feels great. There will be a tight hamstring, a sore calf or general aches and pains. This is normal.
If you are experiencing pain in the same place on three consecutive training runs or cycles, or have pain before, during and after a run, then you have an injury.
You need to stop and get it seen by a medical professional. You can’t continue through an injury and hope it goes away.
To help stay injury free, here are my top tips for training.
Guide to training
This is any activity that's not running. Football, netball and rugby aren’t cross training, you are still running!
Swimming, cycling, rowing and even aqua jogging are all great options. Cross training is a valuable form of training because there's no impact in these activities. It’s kinder to your body and will also improve your cardiovascular fitness.
Stick to your plan and you'll put in a great performance on event day. Doing too much too soon will put you on the fast track to injury. If you need to extend your long runs, include a 10 to 15-minute brisk walk as a warm up and a 10 to 15-minute brisk walk as a cool down.
If you have space in your week, add cross training or some conditioning.
Your muscles need to be well-conditioned to withstand the impact of running a long way. Part of your muscle strength will come from your running training. You should also do conditioning exercises too.
Many conditioning exercises use your own body weight, so there’s no need for an expensive gym membership or lifting heavy weights.
If in doubt, take an extra rest day. There's no use in pushing through an injury or illness. It can damage your chances of racing well or even making it to the start line.
Try out pilates or yoga to complement your running. Running puts a lot of impact through your muscles. You want to give them a good chance to recover.
We hope these tips are useful and help get you to the start line injury-free.
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