Why should I stay motivated to exercise this winter?
The summer months are coming to an end, and soon winter will be on its way. This means it’s time to start goal setting to ensure maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle in the upcoming months. Even when it’s cold and dark, exercising is really important for maintaining energy levels and keeping the immune system in check during the cold months. Exercise also boost endorphins (feel good chemicals) and help release stress. Running is a great way to keep the spring in the step, and there are lots of upcoming Sydney running festival events this year to participate in such as the SMH half marathon, City2Surf, and Blackmore’s Running Festival.
What preparation do I need to do to prepare for a running event?
Firstly, set a SMART goal (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound), and do ensure you have given yourself enough time to plan and stick to your training goal. Take a training diary to schedule in your runs and monitor your training volume and progress. For longer events try and do at least 3 runs a week. We recommend a one longer run and 2 shorter runs a week minimum. The shorter runs can include some speed work or interval training. If it’s a longer race, and your already a runner, start your preparation 8 weeks prior, otherwise if your new to running start 12 weeks before the event. If you are new to running, it’s best to talk to a running coach or physiotherapist experienced in working with runners. They will be able to guide you as to how to plan out your training schedule to minimise any risk of injury.
It is recommended to stick with the 10% rule of gradually increasing your distance, and therefore it is important to avoid the boom and bust approach to ensure you don’t increase your training loads too quickly. Research has shown that having a strength and control programme has a positive effect on running biomechanics, so adding a couple of specific, individualizsd runners strength and conditioning sessions into the training diary in conjunction to the running, can maximise performance.
What are some tips to think about during training?
Ensure you have a good dynamic warmup to help warm and prime your muscles for the run. While running think about focusing on a tall posture, relaxing the shoulders and focus on increasing step rate (cadence) with a quiet landing. A running analysis from an experienced physiotherapist can guide you as to what simple modifications may help you. Take care to make any sudden changes as these often result in injury.
What are some tips to think about post run recovery?
For immediate post-exercise muscle fatigue, use an icepack for 10-15minutes or hop in an ice bath after your run which will help recovery. Using ice facilitates moving the blood to the central body, which will help to warm your organs, and when you get out of an ice bath, blood flows with extra strength back to your extremities and promotes recovery. Also helpful is foam rolling your muscles and a few static stretches to ensure optimal muscle recovery. Additionally, getting on top of the niggles before they turn into injuries is really important, so if you would like some help check our website or call Sydney Physio Solutions on 92525770.