13 Top Winter Run Training Tips to Gain the Edge

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People think that it is easy to run and natural… yes, it is! However, as we begin to get older, we spend more time sitting than we are designed too; it shortens muscles, weakens out buttocks and core, all causing us to run in a less effective and efficient way – and become prone to injury…

I have been to training workshops on biomechanics, tapping & strapping, myofascial release, speed, agility and quickness and completed my athletics and triathlon coaching – as many will know what one person says, another will give an opposing argument. However, I do believe that some simple facts will improve your running speed, efficiency and reduce the risk of injury.

So, as the Festive Period rapidly approaches, I have summarised a few top tips, let me know your thoughts…

Progressive Training and Quality Rest Days: adding no more than 10% to your training volume and speed per week, ideally with every 6th week (and at least 1 day per week as a quality rest day) as easy week to allow the muscles to adapt and recover. (I discuss this in this months Runner’s World)

Start Slowly & Build from a Strong Base to Avoid Injury: enhance performance and enjoyment – break your big goal down into small manageable steps. Do the same if you are changing from road races to off road cross country season, remember stability and core training.  100% strength training makes a difference I believe….

Listen to Your Body: never run through an injury or flu/chest infections – it will only get worse and it is there as a warning. A couple of easy sessions, extra stretching and a good sports massage will limit long term injury or recurring illness. Boost immunity and recovery with quality nutrition and avoid refined sugars and carbohydrates which will drain your immune system. I have been testing the VISI supplements and finding they are brilliant, highly recommend, let me know if you would like to test.

Mix the Sessions Up! Make sure you do long and steady, easy, short and quick, hills and intervals to challenge your body, vary your training and improve your overall pace! Joining a club or agreeing a training day will really help with motivation, especially if it is dark & wet. Once you are outside, you will feel revitalised and refreshed.

Stop at the First Sign: most running injuries are caused through repetitive use, (not sudden impact such as rugby) so it will have been caused over a number of weeks and possibly months. So the day you get ‘the niggle’ is not the first day of its appearance – so make sure you do listen to your body to prevent the niggle becoming a limiting factor to your training and racing!

Include Core Sessions: the more your run, the more core sessions you need to do – the stronger your core muscles, the less likely you will be injured, the stronger you will run and you will be more efficient. All too often athletes do less core when the training increases – however, it is vital that you do more Core sessions. Core sessions should be varied and include lots different exercises using cables, medicine balls, bosu and swiss ball – working the front, side and back muscles -full training plans will be on line in the next month or so but do contact us for more information…

Remember to use your arms: they make you run faster, stabilise your core and increase speed if you use them efficiently and effectively.

Balance and stretching is essential! Make sure as well as core work, you factor in quality stretch sessions working on all muscle areas, spending at least 15mins per sessions at least 3 times per week. I would highly recommend rolling the ITB area (band running from the hip to the knee) with a foam roller to prevent Runner’s Knee or Hip. (Try using a foam roller to prevent injury.

Have regular quality sports massage sessions: if you stretch and do core sessions you will need one about every 2-4 weeks … Possibly more depending on your goals and biomechanics. If you find a good sports therapist they will get used to how your muscles feel, pick up on injuries before they become a problem, reduce fatigue, speed up recovery time and enhance your training sessions. When Olympic athletes were asked what compliments and benefits their training, 97% responded with sports massage as number 1. Why not ask for a a Triple pack of sports massages as a Christmas Present & feel the difference… we can offer you these or search for a local, registered therapist.

Get decent shoes! VITAL Make sure you go to a running shop that has specialists who can video you running and know which shoes to recommend depending on if you are a neutral runner, pronate etc…! Especially key if you are running off road or cross country, and make sure you train in them too. I am loving Mizuno’s range, Wave Rider, Ferus, Evo & Inspire, the colours are great this season!

Book in with a Physiotherapist If you are having niggles, aches or pains book an appointment with a physiotherapist or osteopath if more related to the back to sort any problems and give you specific exercises to help correct any problems before they become long term.

Eat Good Quality Food: make sure you eat decent, good quality carbohydrates, proteins and essentials fats, plus have good, quality sleep – remember you recover and repair your muscles optimally between 10pm and 2am..!! If your fuel tank is not full of the good stuff how can you run effectively and efficiently? Look after your body  for brilliant recipes buy Kate’s fab book Go Faster Food – 5* from Amazon!http://astore.amazon.co.uk/energisperfor-21/detail/0091929326 

And Finally ENJOY Running: set some clear winter goals from now until March 2014, and have FUN – the more your relax, breathe and listen to your body the most effective and fun your training will be! Look out for our #GaintheEdge2014 Tour of Workshops for increase Confidence & Performance Tips.

If you have any top tips please do comment and share. We love to hear how you get the most from your running in the winter months.

And Good Luck for any Festive 10km Runs… Team Energised are off the Christmas Cracker in Weston and then a hill race in Scottie Land on Boxing Day as you do!

Quote for Thought: “The more positive you are when you think and work toward your goals, the faster you achieve them.” Brian Tracy

Tweet me @kimingleby #empower you and those around you & if you would like any training advice for your Half Marathons or Full Marathons in 2014, do let us know.

View latest Kim Ingleby Blog & Photo Shoot with Sacre Images here: http://www.kimingleby.co.uk/blog/uncategorized/scare-images-fit-photo-shoot-captured

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