10 TIPS FOR RUNNERS
Are you one of the 25,000 runners taking part in the Dubai Marathon January 22nd? If you are, chances are (we hope!) that you’ve spent the last six months training hard, but if you’re not and it’s something that has been on your bucket list for a while, it’s time to dig out your running shoes and start putting the miles in. While the count down is on in the UAE to the weather ramping up the heat again, you’d be better off finding yourself a treadmill. Technogym has launched a new treadmill designed by runners for running lovers. It’s home-friendly, thanks to its minimal, elegant and compact design and its smooth and quiet run, as well as offering data and feedback on the users running technique, personalized programmes and full integration with your tablet thanks to a dedicated MYRUN training app. Our fave bit? It even helps you maintain your running rhythm by selecting music adapted to your pace, even at its top speed of 20kmh!
We’ve got ten top tips from Warren Conolly, a master trainer at Technogym, for avoiding injury and improving your performance when it comes to running.
1. Cross train. Cross training involves doing different forms of exercise other than running. The benefits are that it builds flexibility, strength and endurance in the muscle groups not typically used in running. Great for all-round fitness, it promotes stability and strength, and thus you are less prone to joint strains and muscle sprains.
2. Dont over train. Rest and recovery are as important as training. When you rest your muscles have time to recover and build new fibres and connections. Your subconscious integrates the skills you have practised so they are easily available next time you train. Pay attention to your body and learn to differentiate between injuries and normal soreness so that you take appropriate rest when necessary.
3. Keep hydrated. Water is essential for healthy cartilage. When you become dehydrated your cartilage, which protects your joints from impact, starts to resemble a dried out sponge. If you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated. Drink at least 500 ml of fluid before during and after exercise sessions. Also drink frequently throughout the day.
4. Pay attention to your form. Many injuries are the result of poor techniques. Seek advice from professionals so that you learn correct running techniques from the beginning. The Internet and our blog also have a wealth of information in the form of videos and articles about every sport imaginable – so there are no excuses.
5. Build flexibility. The more flexible your muscles then the less likely you are to injure them by overreaching. Build flexibility by stretching before and after exercise. Stretching prepares your muscles for running by lengthening muscle tissue and increasing blood flow and muscle temperature.
6. Warm up and cool down properly. A 15 to 20 minute warm up and short stretch prepares your body for exercise by mobilising your joints, warming up and lengthening your muscles, coordinating your movements and preparing your cardiovascular system for exertion. Cooling down by slowly reducing the intensity of your running and performing long stretches helps muscles eliminate toxins that have built up during exercise. It also prevents your muscles from knotting up and becoming stiff.
7. Get kitted out properly. The most important item in a runners kitbag for runners is a pair of trainers. Choosing the right pair will protect your joints and stabilise your feet when landing. The ideal pair of trainers for you is one that matches the shape of your feet and provides good support for your joints by cushioning your impact on the ground when you run. Find a specialist retailer whose sales assistants are able to offer appropriate advice and recommend a suitable pair of shoes for you.
8. Build up your training regime slowly. Avoid making massive or sudden increases in the time you spend running or the distance you cover. Ideally, your incremental progression should not exceed 10% per week. Rapid changes in exercise intensity or duration can lead to overuse injuries due to your body being unable to adapt as quickly.
9. Eat right. Good nutrition is the foundation of an effective fitness programme. Eating puts back the nutrition you take out while exercising. If you dont eat the right nutrients your body is less able to recover from exercise and this can lead to illness and injury. Protein is particular importance for repairing muscles and eating unrefined carbohydrates will provide you with slow-release lease energy to sustain you on those long runs.
10. Get a running M.O.T.. Consult your physician before starting any exercise or sports programme. You always see this advice in the small print of adverts or in the instructions for sports equipment. However, like terms and conditions on the Internet, its frequently dismissed without due attention. A comprehensive evaluation of your health can identify any underlying issues or potential weaknesses. Knowing what these are will enable you to exercise safely.