Running season is in full swing across the country. Whether you've just signed up for your first 5 km run or you're training for a half-marathon, there are certain things you can do to help you prepare for race day.
Follow this expert advice from Andre Sammut, Regional Master Coach Victoria/Tasmania from the Australian Institute of Fitness.
When training for the event, particularly as a new runner, it is important to start smart and not do too much too soon. You need to gradually build up to your running distance.
Runners often get tightness in certain running muscles, like the gluteus maximus, that can lead to inefficient movement patterns. So stretching throughout your training program is important to ensure you maintain flexibility and help reduce the risk of injury. Here are some other tips to help you get started:
1. Cadence – maintaining a good cadence can also help with preventing injury. Running with shorter, quicker strides will mean that your body spends less time in the air, which in turn leads to less impact when you land. In an event such as The Age Run Melbourne 10km event, you could expect that you will be hitting the ground approximately 10,000 times, so lessening the impact is important.
2. Be informed about the race – know where its starts and finishes, best transportation methods to the race, how long is it going to take to get there. Give yourself an hour to get used to the surroundings and warm up.
3. Hydration plan – for longer distance have a hydration plan. Are you going to run with a bottle or will you just take drinks at the drinks stations throughout the course.
4. Race plan – important to control your initial speed. Decide what this will be prior to the race. Many runners, particularly those new to fun runs, often get caught up with the other runners and start the race too quickly.
5. Clothing – check out the forecast and dress appropriately. If you are going to get yourself some new gear for the run, make sure you do plenty of training in it prior to the event, particularly your runners. Never undertake a race in clothes that you have not worn before. It may be worth getting your running gait analysed and then purchasing runners that best cater for your technique and the support you require.
6. Divide the course – for longer runs, it can be beneficial to divide the course into sections. E.g. divide the race into 5km blocks or identify landmarks along the race course and focus on running to those points. Try doing this in your training as well.
7. Support – If possible run the race with a friend or have some people cheering you on and supporting you, this can really provide a boost, particularly in later stages of the race.
It’s a fun run, enjoy it!!!
Want to take part? Run Melbourne takes place on July 15. Find out more at www.runmelbourne.com.au