Over the last few months I’ve been grafting; training consistently for the London Marathon- building those miles, training speed and improving strength.
I’ve developed and rekindled my love for running from my childhood when I ran nationally. I love pushing myself to the max, getting outside amongst nature, plodding along and just being present being me and the feeling after you’ve done a run when everyone else has been sleeping or sitting on the sofa!! You know the feeling I’m sure!
Last week I received a message on Facebook from a runner – who has only just recently started running and is working towards a goal of running her first ever 10k later this year – which is AWESOME by the way!
I get a lot of questions about running, recovery and injuries so I thought I’d share my top tips in this blog!
1. ALWAYS do a WARM UP!!! Even if it’s just for 3-4 minutes. When I’m up early I am more often than not, tempted to just put on my leggings, lace up my trainers and get out on the road – but that is not good for your body and will encourage injury!! It’s super important to stretch out the muscles, mobilise joints and increase that heart rate. I tend to focus on my tighter areas – hamstrings (back of my legs), glutes (bum), quads (front of legs), calves (lower leg), hips and then do some lunges, side steps and strides!
2. Do CORE STRENGTH EXERCISES! Running is great for your cardiovascular health but if you have a weak core or poor posture – running may cause you pain in your lower back or hips. Improving your core strength will help you to run faster as you’ll become more efficient, so if you’re hoping to run that Park Run PB – then you definitely need to work on strengthening your abs. I do Plank Holds (build up time and repeat 3 times), Crunches, Leg Raises and Side Plank holds.
3. Have a TRAINING PLAN and stick to it. I can’t tell you how much of difference I felt when I started training with a plan – it holds you accountable and helps you progress! The golden rule is that you should increase your minutes (or your miles) by roughly 10% each week. For me 4-5 runs per week is optimum, anymore than that – I struggle to recover and get the most out of each run / training session. Your training plan should include rest days, strength days and some recovery sessions too.
4. STRETCH !! Stretching is super important for preventing injury and traditionally runners are bad at doing it – I know I am! You don’t need to be super flexible, but ensuring you have good mobility and movement will be a game-changer for your running and recovery too! I recommend doing at least 5-10 minutes of stretching after every run including foam rolling too!!
5. Get a MASSAGE! Now I’m talking about the ones that use the elbows and find those OUCH points! I have a regular sports massage with a physiotherapist whilst training for the marathon. I know it can be expensive to get regular physiotherapy treatment, but if you can afford it, you won’t regret it – maybe even get an appointment to discuss self-massage techniques and Myofascial release. It’s much better to start early to prevent injury, rather than having to go because you are injured.
6. Get enough SLEEP. Running is tough! You get tired! Your body is awesome at recovering itself but sleep can be a game-changer. Try to go to bed one hour earlier if you can and make a few changes to get the best night’s sleep you possibly can.
Please share this with anyone you think this could help on their running journey. If you have any specific questions please shoot me a message I’d love to hear from you.
…and if you have some free time in March I am SUPER excited to say that I am teaming up with Cottesloe Physio to deliver a fantastic Runners Workshop – focusing on Strength and Conditioning, Mobility and Myofascial Release!
Interested? Book here