When you've signed up to a running event for the first time, it can be difficult to know where to start with your training. We've collated a list of commonly asked questions below that will help you get started!
What do I do if I get injured?
If you find that you need to take a break from running for a bit, don't give up hope! Make sure you get lots of rest and book an appointment with a sports therapist if possible, as they will be able to provide professional advice on your rehabilitation. If you're feeling up to it, try and do some low impact exercise such as swimming to keep your fitness up whilst you recover. Above all, make sure that you listen to your body and take a break if you're experiencing pain.
How do I minimise my chances of getting injured?
Make sure you stretch daily and try to train on softer surfaces such as grass to avoid strain on your knees and legs. Regular sports massages can be really beneficial. Planning in rest days is enormously important to give your body time to heal between runs, especially if this is your first running event and you're not used to the training!
What do I do if I miss training due to sickness?
The most important thing is not to try and catch up. Let your body ease slowly back into training so that you have time to recover. In your first week back, aim for two to three 30-45 minute runs. Take care when doing your first long run - if you were already running 15+ miles, you won't have lost fitness over a week or two, so there's no need to force your return. It may take around two to three weeks to build your fitness back up again.
How do I build up my stamina in a sustainable way?
It's really important to balance training with nutrition and rest, so make sure that you plan these in around your running. Having dedicated recovery time gives your body time to improve and progress. Slowly build up your running distance whilst making sure the rest and nutrition that you're getting reflect this, counteracting the strain that the running is putting on your body.
How do I motivate myself when I'm struggling?
Consistency and routine are the key cornerstones to progressing your fitness. If you're regularly skipping days or weeks of training, the race will become a real challenge. Be organised and committed and work to a realistic plan. If you already know you'll only be able to fit in three runs a week, then make sure you plan for that, as otherwise you'll start skipping days and will begin to lose motivation.
Here are some useful tips to stay motivated:
Add your runs into your diary, as this will help you to foresee and plan for any clashes.
Make it social
Arrange to run with friends or join a running club. This will help you to stay on track with training, as you will not be able to miss sessions as easily as when you're running alone.
Set goals at regular intervals throughout your training, maybe even sharing some key milestones on social media. This can be a great way to motivate yourself as well as a useful method to boost your fundraising, as people will be able to follow your training journey.
Set your alarm for early morning runs, giving you back the rest of the day to use as you wish.
Is there a benefit to doing other types of training alongside my running?
Mixing your running with other types of training is an extremely beneficial way to boost your overall strength and fitness.
The two types of training that runners need to consider are:
- Cardio vascular - training which works your heart and lungs such as cycling and swimming. This kind of training is low impact and therefore is useful to incorporate into your training if you've picked up an injury. Adding in low impact cardio vascular training into your plan around one to two times a week will help you to become a fitter and stronger runner.
- Strength and conditioning - this is any kind of training that focuses on building strength and flexibility, which will help your body to cope better with the rigors of regular running. You may want to build the strength in your legs through squats or walking lunges, or by joining a Pilates class.
Is interval training beneficial?
Interval training consists of breaking up your training into a series of shorter and faster runs. This can be beneficial for advancing your training, however, make sure you remember what distance you're aiming for. A good way to incorporate interval training into longer distance running is by running for five to 10 minutes at a faster pace, followed by one to two minutes at a slower pace.
Further help and support
Hopefully these FAQs have answered some of your burning questions, contact us if there is anything else you're unsure about!