Robin Hood Half Marathon-Get your training underway now
With a mere 18 weeks till the Robin Hood Half Marathon I though I’d share some top tip tips for getting ahead of the game for your training. I’d imagine most folks are off on holiday during this time so if you rule out a couple of weeks for that it takes it down to 16 then if you factor in tapering for a week and maybe a week of being poorly it brings it down to 14 weeks of good solid training. If you consider that developing strength takes 4-6 weeks you can begin to see that time soon becomes limited. So I thought I would give you my top 5 tips for laying down a good solid foundation for your training.
Tip 1- set some goals now! Have a proper think about what you want to achieve during the event. Are you after a PB, want to run with friends, want to Jeff it, plan to run for charity, plan to run in fancy dress or simply want to enjoy the day. If you set your main goal you can then work back to look at how you can achieve this.
You may decide that your main goal is to get round in sub 2 hours. Is that achievable for you? Are you pretty close to that already or have 10-20 mins to knock off? Use the acronym ‘SMART’ to work through your goals. Try to be honest and realistic with your goals. You may set one overriding goals then break it down into smaller goals. For example you may want to get a sub 2hour HM so have a think how you can achieve that. It may be to improve your running style, lose a bit of weight, get stronger or run for longer. For each of those points you can then look at how you can work towards achieving each one. You may want to improve your running style by having a full gait analysis (available at KHPhysiotherapy) so you can start to work on improving your form and efficiency. You may want to look at your diet to see how it can be improved to allow you to drop some fat and build muscle. Getting stronger- you may want to join a gym or invest in a couple of sessions with a PT to get you underway. Try to look at what may will hinder your progress so for example you may find the gym boring so why not try group classes, there’s always plenty of outdoor bootcamps or regular circuit classes in local venues. Talk through your goals with friends and families and see how they can support you to achieve them.
Tip 2- Get Stronger!! Right from now look at incorporating at least two sessions of strength and conditioning into your training. If you just run you at a high risk of picking up injuries. Evidence has shown that doing strength based training can reduce your risk of being injured by up to 50%. This doesn’t have to be hours in a gym but it does have to involve adding weights to your workout. This improves your muscles ability to absorb the impact produced in running. Basic exercises such as squats and lunges are great for lower body strength but don’t forget running is an all over body workout so include some upper body strengthening exercises. Pull ups, lat pull downs, bench press are all great upper body strengtheners. (Look out for more info on basic S&C for runners)
Tip 3- Don’t just go for steady state runs. If you just move along at the same rate all the time your body becomes pretty efficient at that level. You’ll possibly find you don’t lose weight, don’t notice much improvement in your running or struggle to get your times down. Mix it up. Try to include a variety of sessions each week. Include one interval session (watch out for more on this on a later blog), one faster tempo session and a longer slower state run. Really pushing yourself during interval sessions will improve your cardio vascular capacity and recovery times and building long slow runs in improves your base level fitness.
Tip 4- Join a running club. If you want to be a better runner then run with faster runners than you. Theres hundreds of running clubs across the country and you’ll find you have access to coaching, track sessions, club runs and free league races. There’s also the social side and you’ll find most running clubs organise weekly runs outside of their usual scheduled training times.
Tip 5- Start now!!– Sit down with a calendar and look at each week from now until the event. Try to run at least 3 times a week and include your two sessions of strength based exercise. If you love PR then factor that in but you may want to use it as a bench mark and set goals every 4 weeks to see how you are improving or add it onto the end of a longer run. Include other events you have on the calendar and don’t sign up for lots of other events. Try to break your training into 4 week blocks so at the end of each block you can have a less intense training block and do something like a PR to see if you are improving. Work hard and be consistent. If you get a good base level of running fitness its easy to build on this but it takes time and as we know time flies past at an alarming rate.
So there you go, my top 5 tips for being in the best position to enjoy and achieve great things at the Robin Hood Half Marathon. Now the only other thing to do is to make sure you enter it!!!
If you have any questions or queries please get in touch.