It’s been over a year since COVID shut us down and changed our lives. Time flies when…. you’re stuck at home.
Are you ready to get outside & enjoy the sunshine?
Now that T-shirt weather is approaching, many of us are feeling that it is time for a …READY. SET. GO.
But remember ladies and gentlemen… you can’t just skip to the finish line.
This time of year brings new, intermediate and veteran runners into our clinics. The common trend amongst all? Too much, too fast. We often see a spike in mileage or intensity as the culprit of running related injuries(RRI). Remember, your body can only tolerate what it is capable of. Improving your running is all about slow, steady and continuous progression over time. Just like cars, our bodies cannot go 0-60 in seconds without some intuitive engineering.
If you are a runner looking to improve your craft, there are a few variables I ask you to consider.
The 10% Rule is a standard rule of thumb when it comes to increasing your weekly mileage or time spent running. Each week, you should add ~10% to your weekly mileage. If you want to prevent injuries, don’t jump from 9 miles a week to 19! Remember, slow and steady wins the race. (P.S. for you veteran runners, this limit may be pushed… I recommend keeping it below 20% increase a week).
Frequency is how often you run. When training, this is the 1st training variable that should increase. Say you run 3x per week for 3 miles. If looking to add one more day, I would recommend a 2-3-2-3 to start! That keeps your mileage within the 10% rule.
Duration is how long you run. This is the 2nd training variable to increase and where the 10% rule is important to follow. As I said above, a drastic increase in your mileage or time running can increase your risk for RRI. Learn to get accustomed to doing some math… or hire a coach!
Intensity is how hard you run. This includes picking up the pace, track work & hill climbs. Remember, it’s always easier to run flat than up! When adding intensity it should always follow the 80/20 Rule. 80% of your training should be easy efforts and 20% should be higher intensity efforts! When adding intensity you also can’t forget the rules above!
Strength Training: Strength training is something runners often forget. In order to run faster, you need to hit the ground harder. In order to decrease your risk for injuries, you need to increase your body’s capacity to activity & mileage. I would recommend adding 2-3 days of strength work to your schedule! Just remember, strength isn’t always about high intensity and intervals.
Whether you are learning to run or a veteran runner training for a race, I ask you to remember Aesop’s old tale. Since 1867, The Tortoise and the Hare has been teaching that SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE.
Remember… you can’t start the race if you can’t walk. 🙂