How to prepare for running season 2020 when we had a false start
In exciting news, some of my all-time favourite Aussie fun runs have just announced dates for 2020. Now we all have something to train for!
I absolutely love running season as the prep generally takes you through winter, which motivates my clients to get up and workout even in the cooler months. It’s social and it is a great goal too have in mind as it has an end date that you have to work towards and that date can’t be changed.
So if you, like many haven’t been as active these past few months, here are my top tips to get you prepared for the season.
Mix up your running training
Fun fact, you don’t actually have to run the full distance of your fun run to prepare. You just need to build yourself up so you can make that distance.
What you do need to do however is prepare for anything that the track may throw at you whether it is hills, rough terrain, sandy tracks, off-road tracks, and of course you have to prepare for getting around the people in front of you who are not going as fast as you.
So I would suggest the following types of training. You can do one a day
• Long run day: start at 5k if you are new to running and build yourself up from there. Even if you have to alternate between walking and jogging, work to make that distance and then the next week add a km to it
• Sprint day: Find an area where you can sprint 100-200 metres and do 10 of them
• Hill sprint day: Find a hill and practise sprinting up it. Walk down to recover
• Speedplay day: This is where you run fast for a bit and then run slow for a bit. If you are new to running you may change pace at every street light. Or if you are more advanced maybe every 500 metres or do
If you are going to be running on sand, dirt etc. try to add that into your training too so you can get your muscles used to it
Even Michael Jordan started strength training to get better at his basketball game, and runners are no exception. If you want to improve your run, lift some weights
When you are running you need a strong core and good posture. Strength training can help you work on this.
You also need to strengthen your legs, glutes, hamstrings and ankles to make sure they are strong enough to get you over the line. When you run you are on one leg at a time so when strengthening these areas it helps to do exercises that focus on one leg at a time ie. one leg deadlift. 1 leg TRX squat, lunges, Bulgarian split squat and the like
Make sure stretching and foam rolling is done after every workout and warming up is down before. It is easy to get DOMS or aches and pains when you are doing this type of training so you need to help your body recover so you can keep at it
Have a rest day. Use compression if you need it, see the physio, get acupuncture. Whatever you feel you need to do to feel your best and allow your body to recover. Also, make sure you are having a rest day every week.
This point is going to be more important before race day, but if you plan on changing the foods you are eating or your supplements up for the run, make sure you do it around 2 weeks in advance so your body has time to get used to it. The last thing you want to do is eat something new the day before only to wake up with a stomach ache and low energy. That is no fun for anyone
Some people enjoy shopping for a fun run. They have worked hard after all so they deserve a present BUT don’t let race day be the first day you try out your gear. You need to wear it in so the shoes don’t give you blisters and the clothes don’t give you chafe.
For the guys, I highly suggest nipple tape, especially if you are running a longer distance. I learned this lesson the hard way and won’t run over 21kms now without it!
Ben Lucas is Owner and Director of Flow Athletic Paddington.
Ben grew up in the southern Sydney suburb of Cronulla, where he excelled in athletics, basketball and rugby league during his formative years. Post schooling he went on with his rugby league to play professionally for the Cronulla Sharks, in Brisbane and in Auckland.
Retiring early from football Ben focused his energy on a career in the fitness industry. Opening his first facility in 2005 in Mosman. For 9 years Ben’s Mosman studio was one of the busiest in Sydney, performing over 750 high-quality personal training sessions a week. On the back of this studio’s success, Ben also opened gyms in the neighbouring areas of Neutral Bay and North Sydney.
Whilst training for an Ultra-marathon in 2010 Ben made the acquaintance of one of Sydney’s leading Yoga teachers Kate Kendall. It was this meeting that influenced Ben’s career to change trajectory. He sold his 3 personal training/ fitness businesses in 2012 to commit to a new concept in health.
In March 2013 Flow Athletic opened, bringing a unique mix of strength, fitness and Yoga to the marketplace. Ben now spends the majority of his time on the growth of Flow.