So those of you that were at the resort last week might have seen me jumping for joy at the news that I have a place in the New York City Marathon, if you weren’t here, then to say I’m excited is an understatement. In light of this news I thought I would make this next blog running related so those of you that have an upcoming race, whether it’s a 5k, marathon or even if you run just for the fun of it can pick up a few tips to help you improve your performance.
Believe it or not the first thing that went through my mind when I opened the confirmation email was not the shock horror that I have to be able to run 26.3 miles in 6 months, but that I have to start taking more time to look after my legs and avoid injury. It’s possibly the most underestimated part of most people’s training regime, but failure to incorporate injury prevention into your program could result in you being laid up on the sofa with an ice pack on your knee, not ideal when you have some serious training to do.
So here’s what I’ll be doing for the next 6 months to remain injury free and hopefully cross that finish line with the same smile that I had last week!
- Staying within my limits.
Yes I have to run 26.3 miles, but not next week! It would be easy to fall into the trap of thinking I have to do too much, too soon, too quickly, but I have 6 months to build it up, running too much is the number one cause of self-inflicted injuries. One of many guidelines for preparing for longer distances is the 10% rule; it is thought that by increasing your training mileage by no more than 10% per week will prove for an injury free program and success on race day.
- Building a strong body.
Strong muscles, ligaments and tendons will help keep my body aligned, guard against impact and improve my form. Strengthening my core, hips and legs is going to be vital to keep muscle balance and ensure stability, so you’ll probably see a lot more of me in Pilates class soon.
Stretching will not only help me recover after my training sessions, but help improve circulation, increase range of motion at my joints, promote better co-ordination and decrease muscle tension. So that’s me in Yoga class tomorrow then!!
- Getting a sports massage.
Regular sports massages will improve circulation, loosen tight muscles and reduce the stress on my joints which should improve my overall performance in training and on the day. If you haven’t had a sports massage from Billy yet here at the resort, you must try her on your next visit!
- Wearing the correct shoes.
I’m sure we’ve all been blown away by the wide selection of running shoes that are on the market these days and my number one tip here is to choose what’s right for you. You can listen to what your running buddies suggest but it really is trial and error to work out the right shoe for you. Remember running shoes are not a fine wine, they do not get better with age and running in old shoes will only increase the risk of injury! Look to change your shoes every four months.