Hi everyone and welcome back! I hope you all have an active, healthy and fun 2018.
This time of the year is very exciting if you are a runner with a wide variety of running events to choose from.
For all our Road runners, the Two Oceans is probably the highlight on the running calendar and without a doubt one of the most popular amoungst our road runners and, of course with Capetown being the destination for this race, the perfect opportunity for a lekker weekend away!
On the trail running scene, which has become one of the fastest growing physical activities worldwide, there are a multitude of events to choose from. This month I am going to highlight the Drakensberg north trail run which takes centre stage on the 24 March 2018.
With such spectacular scenery, you can easily become swept away by the beauty of where you are running. There is fantastic accomodation fit for the family in and around the event so it is most definately worth the travel –> www.kzntrailrunning.co.za
So, if you love to run as much as the Smart Team does and want to prepare for the 2018 season, here are a couple of my TOP TIPS to get you into running shape:
The correct running shoes
Running shoes are the most important purchase you’ll make as a runner. Make sure your running shoes are correctly suitesd to your specific type of running gait and foot contact.
For eg: Rear foot pronation is an injury commonly associated with a majority of runners. If you are uncertain and uncomfortable or feeling any pain during your race, it is very important to correct the biomechanical problem.
Are you training too much or too little?
Make sure that you are covering enough kilometers per week.
if you are running a 20km race, try and cover 20km per week and challenge yourself with a longer run every 2nd week by increasing your maximum distance.
But keep in mind, you don’t have to run a 20km every week. Listen to your body and push yourself within your own limitations.
Hill training or Incline training for a race such as the Two Oceans is very important, specify your training program according to the demands of the race! Trail running will always present you with steep climbing and descending so don’t be afraid to tackle a mountain or two as part of your training.
Red flags and common signs of over training:
- Medial tibial stress syndrome (shin splints)
- Heavy legs
- Pain on the heel and ball off your feet
- Plantar fascaeitis
- Anterior knee pain (runners knee)
- ITB pain and discomfort
- Development of stress fractures on the toes, ankles and feet
- The above mentioned are also relates to postural problems and overuse injuries.
Prevent injuries and improve your running performance
- Keep track of your times and distances.
- Ensure you are doing strength training of your legs, core, upper body and functional training.
- Include plyometric exercises to train your joints to adapt to impact landing.
- Train on unstable surfaces eg: Bosu balls, balance pads and wobble boards. Balance, balance and more balance!
- Use corrective exercise to ensure optimal biomechanical alignment. Please make use of an exercise prifeasional with regard to injury management and corrective exercise.
- Make sure you get in the correct recovery supplement after training.
- Stretching is very important. Make use of dynamic stretching before running and remember the cool down phase of your run and a stretching routine afterwards.
PRO’s and CON’s of running in a group
Running is a social event and running clubs and running groups has become very popular.
Running groups will help you to stay motivated and guidance is readily available should you require advice and a tip or two. However, even though it can be a healthy environment training in groups, make sure you are still staying focused on what will make YOU a better runner.
Avoid trying to keep up with athletes that are more advanced than you, even though it can be motivating, it can also result in pushing yourself too far and over training can set in.
Do what will make you a better runner, the basics make the road to succes a lot more enjoyable.
Well thats it for this month! I hope you all have a succesful training period leading up to which ever event you may be taking on.
Most importantly, enjoy it have fun and love to run!!!
*Written by our health and fitness guru Justin Oelofsen • Owner and exercise specialist at Just n Motion.