The Mountaineer - Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada
© 2007 The Mountaineer Publishing Company Limited.


Proper training for runners

Most of us have or will have taken up jogging or running for exercise at least briefly in our lifetimes. It might be for a race, triathlon, for training for another sport or simply for exercise.
Whether you are just thinking about beginning to run, or are a seasoned racer, you should do your research on technique and training.
Completing the 3 km, 10 km or 20 km races at the Crimson Lake Trail Run might be a goal and runners should begin training now. This year, the event on Aug. 24 will also be part of the 2019 Alberta Masters Games for athletes aged 30 and older.
Several years ago, the organizers of the Trail Run came up with some advice. The priority of these running tips is to improve your fitness level, while minimizing the potential for frustration or injury.
If you are just beginning a fitness program through running or walking, your goal for this year should simply be to finish the run. Don’t try to break the clock.
Rules for Healthy Running
Running seems to attract hard-working, goal-orientated people who appreciate the fact that the sport rewards an honest effort. To avoid injury, it is important to follow these common guidelines when you set up your training program.
1. Honestly Evaluate Your Fitness Level
If you haven’t had a medical exam lately, be sure to see a doctor and think about getting a fitness test done. Start out running/walking gently and remember that if you are doing easier or longer runs, they should all be at conversation pace. If you are patient, you can increase your effort gradually, as your body increases in strength and adapts to the stress of running.
2. Easy Does It
Beginning runners/walkers should not increase their mileage greater than 10 per cent per week, or one to two miles. This may not sound like a lot, but it will allow the novice runner to stay healthy and build up more mileage. Experienced runners may be able to handle greater increases, but should limit themselves to 20 per cent.
3. Plan for Performance Plateaus
Don’t increase your mileage every single week because you feel that more is better. Your body can take mileage increase for two to three weeks at a time, as it adapts to the higher work load. But after that, you are advised to take a rest week and cut down the intensity and mileage so your body has a chance to relax and stay healthy. Remember: stress plus rest equals best results.
4. Progress Slowly
Another cause of injury and overtraining is increasing the speed of your workouts by too much, too soon, too often. In other words, balance your workouts with a bit of pre-planning. Schedule no more than two faster workouts a week, and using the same principle as the last tip, schedule in hard/easy days so that you are undergoing stress, but following that up with rest. The rest can be an easy run/walk, a day off, or some cross-training — but take it easy.
5. Be Smart About Injuries
Runners, as they become more fit, become intolerant of their tired, stressed-out bodies, that are screaming out warning signs of overtraining and injury. Runners should listen to their bodies and appreciate that even finely tuned bodies get aches, pains, and yes, injuries. If you are cautious and healthy you will be reaching your goal sooner than if you are injured and not running. Stay healthy, stay running.
from files of The Mountaineer