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Run the Gap – a running event in the Grampians National Park – is fast approaching. For some that means training has already begun, is just about to, or they’re looking for the motivation to take that stride in their running journey.
Personally, I have never participated in a fun run longer than 5km in my life, and for the month of May I have signed myself up for both a half marathon and a 12km run which are tactlessly back-to-back weekends. I am in week 3 of my training program and so far, so good. I will let you know how my progress is going and also give you some advice on running and recovery as I work through my training in this three-part blog series.
First things first – training programs. A running program in particular should incorporate four components: intervals, distance-based running, strength sessions and most importantly rest. The key principle in any program is progressive overload. This means an increase in the load (reps, sets or weights) when performing weight training, or progressing cardio-based exercise via distance, intensity, volume or complexity. In other words, we need to continuously apply stress to the body.
This stress applied to the body must be within an optimal range – if it is too high it can lead to over-training which can increase your risk of injury and if it is too low you may become disinterested. This is well illustrated in the graph below. For those with a running goal, there are many readily available running plans online. For example, Nike Running Club has training plans for 5kms, 10kms, 15kms, half-marathons, and marathons. If you’re still unsure, make an appointment to see one of our physiotherapists or exercise physiologists who can give you some guidance.
When training for an event like this, routine is very important. Make time to set weekly goals and check at the end of each week if you were successful in achieving them.
It’s these ‘mini wins’ that give us the boost we need to do it again the following week, and perhaps perform a little better.
As well as keeping you on track with your fitness goals, routine is great for maintaining work-life balance and avoiding any excuses.
While we’re on the topic of excuses, let’s discuss three common ones I hear quite often in the clinic:
1. Gym memberships are expensive
2. Running is boring
3. I don’t have enough time
1. You don’t necessarily need a gym membership to participate in a training program or to complete any exercise for that matter. Of course, a gym membership can be helpful (i.e. rainy days, weights sessions) but there are always ways around this. For example, common pantry items such as cans of baked beans can be used as a substitute for dumbbells.
2. Have you tried running with a group of friends? With some tunes? Or better yet, both? I feel as if this is the perfect opportunity to shout-out to my local running group ‘Run Chicks Stawell’ who consistently meet each week to run. For those in Ararat, there is a weekly free Park Run at Alexandra Park. You will find like-minded people to surround yourself with, making you more likely to not skip a session. This is where accountability plays a big role!
3. Routine and goal-setting! That’s all I’ll say.
Never feel guilty for investing time in yourself and your fitness goals or any goal for that matter.
Lastly to all those keen athletes out there or anyone looking at starting up running, at Ararat Physio & Co we can provide a running assessment by one of our Physiotherapists or Exercise Physiologist. Through a running assessment, we can identify any biomechanical problems or ‘niggles’ you have on the track, address any current injuries you have, and prevent any injuries in the future. From my assessment, my Physiotherapist identified that I kept one arm quite stagnant whilst I run and vigorously moved the other. I had no clue this was happening however since being more aware of this and starting some clinical pilates, it has changed my running game completely. So long sore shoulders!
Thanks for reading! Join me for Part 2.
#araratphysio #running #runningtraining #trailrunning #physiotherapy #physiotherapyrunning