As a runner you need to decide how much you want to run everyday, so whether its a 10k, half or full marathon, here are a few things to remember, writes Nandini Reddy
Every runner wants to achieve his full potential but sometimes over-enthusiasm can lead to running the extra kilometre which will cause injury. So how do you decide when you have reached the optimum distance that is good for you and how do you grow on these distance challenges? Here are a few suggestions of how you can achieve your potential.
Set the goals
The first thing that you need to do is to set goals for your training. If you don’t have a coach and you need assistance then try a running app. When you plan your goals you would need to consider the following:
- What distance do you want to achieve?
- Your goal – finish a race or finish in a particular time
- Number of times a week that you can run
- Time you have to train before your big race
Once these are set, its time to set-up your training. That implies that you need to follow a few basic rules to stay injury free and also complete your goals.
You need to be clear whether you want to achieve a particular performance goal or just finish a race. If you are planning to just finish a race then it really doesn’t matter how many kilometres you run before a race. If you plan to finish at a particular time then you training runs need to include this factor. So if you trying to run a 10k marathon with an aim to achieve sub 60 min timing then you need to do practice runs of at least 7-8kms that are sub 60 mins so that on race day you can achieve your goal.
Quality of the Run
The weekly runs should not be so stressful that you drive yourself to fatigue. If you do that then you are likely to find it difficult to recover. You can even try to include interval training runs so that you can improve your run quality and stamina. If you are training with a coach then try and also bring in some strength training so that your muscles are better equipped to take the stress of the run.
As you keep running you will find your most comfortable pace. You can hold on to this pace if you aren’t too stringent about timing. But if you want to work on timing then the pace needs to be worked on by slowly increasing it during your weekly training runs. If you are slow it doesn’t mean you are a bad runner. Most Ultra-runners take 4-5 hours to finish their races and they have a leisure pace. These runners may not increase their pace if they are asked to run a 5k or 10k because to them, the comfort of the pace is more important than distance. You just need to find your pace and stick to it.
If you want to advance your distance or pace then you need to do it with caution. Give your body the time to adapt to achieve an increase in pace and distance. If you run 3 times in a week then initially increase your pace during one of these runs. Once you have adapted to the new distance you can even add more running days.
Remember that a healthy runner will finish a race so instead of driving yourself to injury, be smart about how you increase your distance and improve your pace.