Firstly big congratulations to everyone who took part in the Commit to get fit May challenge. Remember it’s the taking part that counts, which is the nice thing with many of the activities put on by Sussexsport, although some do have an element of competing, most activities are about having fun and challenging yourself. Although the challenge has finished I am still available to help with any questions, fitness related, you may have, just send an e-mail to GetFitAdvice@sussex.ac.uk.
So summer is fast approaching, meaning many of us will be dusting off our summer runners and hitting the pavements/seafront getting ourselves more active. What can we do to help ourselves make the most of our running and improve our times?
Hydration – not only whilst running but pre and post. OK so we may have had a run before heading to the BBQ, but hold off the alcohol for a drink or two. We want to replace the fluid we have lost, being dehydrated by 2% can lead to decrease in performance, we lose concentration and performing tasks become harder. Hopefully summer nights will be warm, meaning when we are asleep we will lose fluid. Therefore it is important to replace this lost fluid when we wake up and start the day hydrating.
Running Shoes – make sure they are appropriate to your running style to help prevent injuries. When your foot hits the floor do you over-pronate http://is.gd/idhmTR or under-pronate http://is.gd/Ajr0QN
Stretch – to help prevent injuries, aid recovery and maintain your range of movement (stride length, leg lift etc) stretching should be a stable part of any runners routine, whether you are a casual runner or a marathon runner. When stretching you may wish to foam roll prior to stretching that muscle group, these release the knot and allows for a better stretch. When stretching pay particular attention to the quadriceps, hip flexors, IT band, hamstrings and glutes http://is.gd/AUi5Qj
Strength – to get quicker, maintain running technique and avoid injuries we should look to strengthen the core, glutes and hamstrings. By strengthen I mean you should be looking to do 6-10 repetitions with your selected weight and that’s all you should be able to perform. You should not be holding a weight doing 20 repetitions and stopping even though you could do more. This is not challenging the muscles enough. The strength work should supplement the endurance work your muscles are getting whilst running, just performing endurance work is likely to lead to injuries and not aid performance.
Pace – you should look at several different pace runs. You should have a recovery run pace, this is slower than your race pace. You also have your race pace and another option is your interval pace, this pace is quicker than your race pace. When performing intervals your pace will be determined by the distance of your interval, your pace for 400m will be quicker than your pace for 800m.
Massage – OK we can all do with a massage every now and then and yep it can be expensive to continue to pay for these. So why not supplement your massages for a foam roller. This looks to get into the muscles and relieve the tension http://is.gd/CJC64U
Cross Training – this does not always mean going on that lovely piece of gym equipment. Cross training means variety, look to mix your running up with other activities that help maintain your fitness but prevent overuse injuries. These activities could be biking, swimming, racket sports, circuits, zumba.
Nutrition – plan for your training. Pre exercise meals should be based on providing you with the energy to carry out your planned session and post meals should help replenish stores post session.
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