- Not Warming Up…Properly
“Warming up” is about more than just increasing blood and oxygen supply to the muscles before higher intensity training, although this is an important principle. Something that is more commonly over looked by runners is the priming and activation of muscles which are going to be utilized in the upcoming training session. Priming the muscles is important as it prepares them for activity after a time of rest, whether that’s sitting at a desk all day or rolling out of bed to start the day.
Using dynamic movements which utilize the muscles that are intended to be used, provides the best outcome for running.
Below are a number of exercises which may help you prepare for your next run:
- Starting Out Too Fast
Starting out faster or harder than required can very quickly have you working in an anaerobic state and as such beginning to build the hydrogen ion levels within the muscles which can lead to a feeling of heaviness and reduced efficiency. In addition to the physiological impacts that exerting yourself prematurely may have there are also functional contributions which may lead increase your possibility of injury – namely – over-striding and increase ground contact time.
The most efficient way to combat this from happening is to have a goal for every training session you are completing including your Primary Goal of your session, the estimated duration, Intensity, frequency and intervals.
More information about the effect of these functional issues can be found on previous contributions:
- Poor Fueling
How you choose to fuel for your individual session or in the lead up to a competition is just as important as your recovery and your training. Before a run, it is important to stay away from food which are high in fibre. These foods are fantastic for your overall health, however, in the hours before a run this can lead to gastronomical distress (more about that in our next section).
Refined sugars and foods which are high in simple sugar can cause a spike in glucose level, which then ends in a significant drop and a potential decrease in performance. This can be just as true for sports drinks, which may be better saved for after competition or training instead of beforehand.
High Fat Foods can lead to indigestion and heart burn, but most of all can feel as though it takes a considerable time to digest, making you feel heavy.
The best options when fuelling for a training session or competition is to stick to water and Low-GI foods and at the very least foods you have trialled previously on shorter runs.
- Getting The Runs On The Run
As mentioned earlier high fibre foods are great for an individual’s health but for someone who is about to head out on a run it can quickly lead to looking for the nearest public bathroom.
Caffeine is a runners best friend especially in the early morning or after work. It is also a diuretic which means that buzz can quickly become an uncomfortable shuffle as you try to decide whether to stop and walk the way home or run faster to make sure you make it in time.
The usual suspects of poor fuelling are also the classic foods which can lead to these circumstances so play it safe.
- Equipment Choices
It’s always exciting to try new technology or clothing when running, it always seems to give you a little boost! But when deciding to use these exciting new products you should probably do so on a shorter course than what you may normally run.
Why is that you ask? Let’s have a quick look at the commonly used products which tend to cause problems:
* Over-Dressing – dehydration, carrying uncomfortable objects, over-heating
* Under-Dressing – chaffing, running nose, sun burn
* Energy Gels – make you thirsty, can make you feel sick
* Runners – blistering, tissue loading, small changes in an updated shoe
* Sunnies – fog up, fall off, give headaches
* Orthotics and Braces – Blistering, tissue loading, changes in function
* Drink Bottles – add weight, slip from belts, are awkward to carry
Coming back to equipment choices, sometimes there are positives…. like Vaseline. Chaffing is caused by repetitive friction between two body parts or the material that cover them. Chaffing may be caused by poor equipment choices like ill-fitting shorts and tops or even running technique – if your legs are passing too close together.
However, sometimes it’s as simple as weight gain just expanding those body parts more than you were once used and that gap which was once there – now isn’t.
Until Next Time
Director/ Chief Editor