Monday, August 26, 2013

Golden Rules

Saturday: 4 miles
Sunday: (Gym) upper body weights (Nike Training Club) + 3 mile speed work on the treadmill
Mile 1: 8:30 min/mi
Mile 2: 8:00 min/mi
Mile 3: 7:30-7:15 min/mi

Before you begin training for a race or decide that you want to take up running, there are a few rules to be aware of. These are rules that all runners go by, Golden Rules, if you will. Many of us have had to learn this the hard way, but if you can be aware of it before you begin running consistently, you have a greater chance of being successful.

1. Be Specific. Train for the event you plan to participate in. If the race has hills, practice on hills. If you want to run at an 8 min/mi pace, you must practice a few runs a week at that pace. You will be much better prepared if you train as close as you can to the distance, elevation and time of day of your event.

2. 10% Rule. During training, increase your milage by no more than 10% a week. This will prevent injury.

3. Shoes Rule.  Break in, rotate and replace... this is what you need to remember. Allow yourself shorter distance runs to break in your new shoes. Breaking down the new shoe stiffness will allow the shoes to comfortably move with you during your runs. Buy more than one pair of running shoes. You can prevent injury this way. Rotating your shoes gives your feet a break from the same the same pavement pounding feeling your favorite shoes provide. Switch out your shoes and try not to wear the same pair two days in a row. Replace shoes after putting 400-500 miles on it.

4. 10 Minute Rule. Allow yourself about 10 minutes to warm up and then cool down during and after running sessions. The gradual movement prepares your body for the increased blood flow and core muscle temperature.

5. Never Try Something New. Never try anything new on race day. This includes fueling, pre-race meals, clothing or running techniques during or before your event. This is incredibly important. Your training runs are a dress rehearsal for your actual event. If you are running a long distance race, this is especially true for your long, slow distance runs. Make sure that you are practicing with fueling and hydration techniques. See what works best for you. It's also important not to try new foods the night before the race, you will feel it on race day. Trying new foods or techniques can cause cramping and fatigue. So many factors are unpredictable on race day, prepare for what you can control.

6. 2 Day Rule. If something hurts for two days straight, take a break from running. Allow your body time to rest and heal.

7. Dont Just Run. It's important that you incorporate a cross training activity into your weekly routine. Running is wonderful but it's important to strengthen your muscles in ways other than running. Two days a week, try giving the eliptical, or weight training, or even yoga a try. This will not only make running more enjoyable but it will prevent burn out and injury that excessive running can create.

8. The Conversation Test. If you are unable to have a conversation while running, you are running too hard. You will know that you are at a comfortable pace if you can get whole sentences out without gasping to get a few words out. This test can prevent injury created by running harder than your body is capable of. *This rule does not apply if you are doing a speed work training session. This is mainly for your everyday runs.

9. Carb Up Rule. A few days before your event, focus on carbohydrates in your diet. This means, concentrate on eating a little more than normal. It does not mean, eat only CARBS!! You want to provide a good storage in your system for quick energy on race day. Pay close attention to the foods you are putting in your body the few days before race day.

10. 10 Degree Rule. Dress as if it is 10 degrees warmer than the actual temperature outside. You will feel warm quickly while pumping your arms and moving your legs, if you over dress, you have a possibility of overheating. This is a great rule of thumb for dressing before heading out the door.

These are my quick tips to running successfully. They are easy rules to remember but ones that all runners tend to follow.

Do you have any rules when you run? What tips could you offer to new runners? Were these tips helpful?

Have a wonderful Monday everyone! Make yourself proud today and get out and move!

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