Get ready for fun-run season!
There are many reasons for why you have signed up to do a 5km Fun Run. Maybe you like running. Maybe you like raising money for charity. Maybe you have decided once again to get fit for summer and are using it as motivation to start exercising. If you’ve got at least six weeks before D-Day, then integrate the following training tips. This will have you cruising through a 5km run regardless of your starting point.
First, let’s be realistic for a moment. This advice will only help you complete the run comfortably. You won’t be breaking any land speed records! Nike won’t be calling you up begging you to wear their clothing! Only more time and training will get you near that point. So set a time that you want to run based on your current level of fitness. This goal time will be one factor in helping determine your training intensity.
You need a plan.
Follow these training tips. They will get you ready in a relatively short period. You still need to be consistent with your training over that time. Set aside at least three sessions per week of approximately 45 minutes (this includes warm up and cool down). What’s that? Are you too busy? I’m certain that you are busy. I’m also certain there is someone busier than you training right now. Plan ahead and putting it in your diary will help.
Now you’ve locked in the time to train. What to do?
Interval training. Useful if you need to get quick improvements in your fitness. Interval training is the most effective training method to get results. It involves periods of high-intensity activity (like running). Then alternating with periods of rest or low-intensity activity (like jogging or walking). Like any training method, interval training needs to suit individual abilities and fitness levels. When you begin, take it easy! Start with short periods of high-intensity exercise. Over the following weeks, you can pick up the pace. Increase the time spent running and decrease the time spent walking or jogging. The aim is you will progress. From 2 minute intervals of running with 2 minutes of rest to 20 minutes of running with 30 seconds of rest.
How does this interval training relate to race day? Give your body one week to get used to running. Then step up your pace during training to faster than what you want to run the fun run. As you’re only doing short intervals of this pace, it should be achievable. On race day, your constant running pace will feel easy and manageable! This is because you have been training at a higher intensity. Genius.
Now, you’re training effectively!! Let’s look at what else needs to happen to get the most out of your hard work.
Eat well and sleep well.
It is integral to help your body recover as best as possible from the training you’re doing. Achieve this by eating well. Even more important, sleeping well. The easiest way to eat well is to keep it simple. Eat lots of veggies, some protein, a bit of fat and drink plenty of water. All the other stuff try to keep to a minimum. Above all else, prioritizing sleep is necessary to get all the value out of your training.
Think of sleep like a perfect oven. To make biscuits, you need good ingredients. The right quantities and preparation techniques. But if you don’t bake that mixture in the oven you’ve just got biscuit dough. Nothing against biscuit dough! But it’s nothing compared to my grandma’s crunchy yet chewy Anzac biscuits. Sleep is the same. You can train your heart out and eat super clean. But if you don’t recover with proper sleep you’ll end up with poor results. Sleep is the only chance our body has to rebuild and heal. Also, it’s the best way to get the energy to get up and go for the next training session.
So, now you can focus more on getting some donations from your stingy workmates! No more excuses to get you out of the run!
Remember to be consistent, listen to your body and get some sleep.
Consider contacting us at Alliance Health Clinics. We have a team Osteopaths and a Exercise Physiologist, who can help with advice on training for a big event or any niggling injuries affecting your training.
Written by Dr Matthew Healy B.Sc. MHS (Osteo)