Top Training Tips

Real-life tried and tested ways to improve your motivation, long runs, speedwork and more
Here’s the first instalment of some of the most practical training tips from Innovation Sports – posted by runners just like you. The advice for everyone: slow runners, speedsters, newbies, seasoned marathoners and more.

Dont plan too many races in quick succession

“If you are planning on signing up for more than one race, try to schedule them at least 3 weeks apart.”

INCREASE YOUR DISTANCE SLOWLY

A good guideline is to increase your distance by no more than 10% per week.

PLAN EASY WEEKS INTO YOUR TRAINING

Every 3 weeks or so, plan to cut your mileage by 25% – 50% to let your body recover. Use the freetime to sleep more, cross train, and take care of any nagging sore spots.

MIX-IN LOW IMPACT TRAINING

This will let your body recover while maintaining your fitness. Exercises such as swimming, crosstrainer are great ways to do this!

BUILD YOUR CORE STRENGTH

Yoga and Pilates are great ways to strengthen your core, hips, and upper body that will improve your posture and help you run more efficiently.

RESISTANCE TRAINING

As a runner, your body strength will help you immensely when training and racing! So, add some resistance training to your routine. Resistance training is a great way to improve your strength, posture, and power, which will help you with your running form and efficiency.

WARM UP AND COOL DOWN

Always warm up before stretching. Easy jogging at a very light pace is usually the best way. Dynamic stretching is a good warm up routine too, squats and walking lunges are both movements to activate the muscles required for running! Cooling down with a light jog and/or walking is a good way to regulate the body.

TAPER BEFORE YOUR RACE

A taper is a planned recovery period immediately before your race to let your body prepare itself for the intensity of race day. Tapering involves minimal to no running, and instead replaced with light cross training, rest, and hydration. For a 5K, plan on about a 2-3 day taper. For a 15k, plan on at least a 4-day taper. The longer the race distance, the longer the taper duration.

MAKE A PLAN AND STICK TO IT

Take all the tips above, sit down with a calendar, and write out each day of training. Start at the race day and plan your training backwards starting with your taper. Stick to your training.

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY

This may seem contradictory to the point made above, but if you are having a bad day, it is okay to take a day off. If you had a long day at work or are

feeling overwhelmed, try running for a mile and see how you feel. If you are feeling worse, call it a day and plan on getting a good run in the next day instead.

GET YOUR SLEEP AND REST

Get your 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night, at least. A good rule of thumb is to calculate your average weekly running mileage, and add that many minutes of sleep to your nightly rest. Sleep is the time for your body to recover and heal from your run.

GIVE YOURSELF SOME TIME OFF

If you are planning on signing up for more than one race, try to schedule them at least 3 weeks apart. Give yourself one week to recover from your first race, and then ramp back up for the next race with a taper before the second race. Run smarter, not harder.

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