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Training tips


The best way to stay motivated and on track is by working towards a goal, so we’ve put together these training tips to help support you on your journey as you work towards your goal.

 

For more training tips, download our training tips pack.

Technique

Improving your running technique and running with good form will help prevent injury and also improve your running efficiency, which will allow you to conserve more energy. 

 

  • Focus on maintaining good posture, standing tall.
  • Your shoulders should be back & relaxed, ensure they are not tensed & held high.
  • Have your hands loosely cupped with your fingers just lightly touching your palms.
  • Your hips should be square, pointing straight forward.
  • Your elbows should be bent & forearms relaxed.
  • As your arms swing they should be going in directly forward and back motion, from the shoulder joint, make sure they’re not rotating across your body.
  • Aim to have your foot land as close to your body as possible.
  • As you increase your speed your feet will start to flick up towards your glutes.

Cadence + strike

 

Your cadence is the number of steps you take per minute. Not every individual will be able to achieve the same cadence, however a lower range has been linked to over-striding, which is when you extend out excessively when your foot strikes. This increases braking force and loading of the body. By this theory, increasing your stride rate could help with reducing your risk of injury and promoting a more energy efficient running form.

 

You want to be light on your feet while running to soften the load when landing, taking moderately short, frequent strides.

 

Foot strike

 

Your foot strike is how you land on your foot when running. There are three types of foot strikes as below. It is believed by some that the optimal and most economical foot strike is mid-foot strike, however, if you’ve been advised to work on changing your foot strike it is something you should do gradually as it may result in stressing the body in ways it is not normally stressed.

 

Fore-foot strike:  Landing on your toes

 

Mid-foot:  Landing on the middle of your foot heel-foot strike

 

Heel-foot strike:  Landing on the heel of your foot

 

Shoes

 

Before you start to increase your training it’s important you are fitted with a good pair of running shoes that suit your foot type, will support you correctly and reduce the risk of injury.

 

 

Warm up

 

A warm up is a critical component of your sessions. Warming up gradually increases the heart rate, breathing, blood flow, body temperature and prepares the lungs, muscles, nerves, joints and tendons for the activity it is about to perform. It also prepares you mentally for your session.

 

To warm up the body and prepare it for the workout a light 5 - 10 min jog should be completed before your harder sessions, followed by dynamic stretches. For easy runs, you can do this or just start off easy and ease into the pace of your run as you progress. 

Cool down

 

A cool down is also a critical component of your sessions. Performing a cool down gradually brings your heart rate and breathing back down to a normal state and encourages blood to flow back to the heart. It can also help to reduce muscle stiffness and soreness.

 

After harder sessions, complete a light 5 - 10 min jog as your cool down, followed by static stretches. For easy runs you can either do this, or just start to ease the pace down towards the end of your run and follow with static stretches.

 

Stretching

 

Stretching is a vital part of your training and will help keep you injury free as you increase your mileage whilst preparing for your half marathon.

 

Dynamic stretches are active movements where you take your body through a range of motion. Perform these before your run to prepare your body for the workout ahead.

 

Static stretches are when you hold the stretch in a challenging but comfortable position, and should be performed after your cool down following your run, when your muscles are warmed up. Stretching improves flexibility and muscular endurance, and is a very important component of recovery, helping to reduce muscle soreness and lengthen back out muscles and tendons after they shorten during exercise.