Focusing on proper training will not only increase performance, speed and endurance, but also prevent injuries and speed up recovery.
- Include a proper warm.
This focuses on dynamic stretching to engage the proper muscles (glutes, hamstrings, quads, ankles), increase blood flow and raise core temperature.
- Weekly mileage increase.
Make sure you don’t increase your weekly mileage by more than 10%/week to prevent injuries.
- Include interval training in your program.
Once a week do some speed work and hill repeats to increase power and speed.
- Combine both trail and road running sessions weekly.
Both road and trail running engage different muscles in different ways. Both types of running have their benefits; by doing both you will increase your overall performance.
- Include cross-training sessions 2-3 times/week.
Do some core and strength training sessions; include planks, squats, lunges, box jumps, TRX. Also, cycling, swimming can improve performance, running form and avoid injuries.
- Focus on proper running form.
By paying attention to the way we run, not only will it prevent injuries, but also increase performance and reduce our energy expenditure. When you run, make sure your foot lands under your knee, shorten your stride, increase your cadence, run with a natural forward lean, straight torso, don’t bend at the waist. Open the chest to make it easier to breathe. This natural gravity will help propel you forward and save energy.
- Don’t forget to hydrate and fuel while running.
Use electrolytes for runs over 60 mins and carbohydrates for runs over 90mins. In extreme heat and humidity it is essential to drink electrolytes on runs longer than 60 mins to keep your body replenished so you can keep going strong.
- Pay attention to your shoes.
With today’s technology, shoes might look fine from the outside, but the inside cushioning and support might be done. So don’t forget to replace your shoes every 600-800 kms.
- Stay injury free.
If you feel pain anywhere for more than 2 consecutive days while running, take 2 days off and focus on releasing that area through proper sport massage or physio.
- Do proper stretching after every run.
To prevent injuries and keep our muscles flexible, we need to perform static stretching after every training session. Also include some foam rolling sessions a few times a week and a proper massage at least every 2 weeks. Doing 1 or 2 yoga sessions/week will also help with keeping the body flexible and increase core strength.